Twitter owner Elon Musk criticized Apple on Monday for allegedly threatening to pull the app from its app store, The New York Times reports.
Musk in a series of tweets on Monday complained that “Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter” amid a mass advertiser exodus caused by Musk’s abrupt and unilateral content moderation changes.
“Do they hate free speech in America?” Musk tweeted.
Musk went on to accuse Apple of threatening to pull Twitter from its app store, which he described as censorship.
“What’s going on here” Tim Cook? Musk asked the Apple boss.
He also complained that Apple takes a 30% cut of companies’ profits through its app store.
The feud sets up a power struggle between Musk, who shelled out $44 billion for a company valued at far less, and Cook, whose company along with Google can make or break a company by including or excluding them from their app stores.
The feud may have been inevitable given that Musk is looking to shift the company’s revenue streams away from advertising to subscriptions and other monetization features, of which the company would be forced to pay 30% to Apple for iOS users.
Apple has required companies to create a “safe experience” for apps that are listed in their app store and has pushed Twitter to do more well before Musk’s purchase.
“In my time at Twitter, representatives of the app stores regularly raised concerns about content available on our platform,” Yoel Roth, Twitter’s former head of trust and safety, wrote in an editorial in The New York Times, citing concerns about pornography and racial slurs.
Musk last week suggested that he may launch his own phone if Apple and Google boot Twitter from their app stores.
“I certainly hope it does not come to that, but, yes, if there is no other choice, I will make an alternative phone,” he tweeted.