AppGratis CEO Simon Dawlat has issued a new statement today denying reports that Apple contacted the company prior to the app’s removal in the App Store last week.
“It is important to me and my team that we clarify what happened,” he said. “It is absolutely untrue that there were discussions between AppGratis and Apple in advance of our App being removed from Apple’s platform. The first communication from Apple we received was an email sent to us after our App had been removed.”
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TNW reached out to Apple earlier this week and was informed that the app discovery tool was removed from the store because it violated two separate rules.
The first, regulation 2.25, states that any app which displays other apps for purchase, similar to the App Store, will be rejected. The second, regulation 5.6, declared that apps cannot use push notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind.
There was no mention of ongoing dialogue either before or after the app’s removal, however.
Dawlat adds on the AppGratis blog: “Since our App was removed, we have had one telephone conversation with an Apple employee who repeated the content of Apple’s email to us, and refused to discuss the matter further. Since then Apple has not returned any of our calls. It goes without saying that I am still very keen to speak to them.”
Despite these claims, Apple has made its decision and it doesn’t look like AppGratis will be returning to the App Store anytime soon.
Fleur Pellerin, minister of digital economy for the French government, weighed in through a number of remarks published in a report by the Financial Times yesterday.
She accused Apple of being “extremely brutal” for banning the app discovery tool, and called on the company to “behave ethically” in the future. “This isn’t virtuous and dignified behaviour for a company of that scale,” Ms Pellerin said.
AppGratis closed a $13.5M round of Series A funding in January. At that time, it said that it was earning more than $1 million in monthly revenue and had 7 million users in over 30 countries, although Dawlat says that number had since increased to 12 million users when the app was removed.