According to the new Digital Markets Act (DMA), Apple must give software developers the opportunity to distribute apps for Apple devices through alternative stores. Experts say Apple’s fee structure remains unfair and that changes to its policies may not be consistent with the DMA. EU officials threaten Apple “By taking decisive action when the proposed solutions are not good enough.”
According to the DMA, from the beginning of March, developers will be able to offer their users alternative app stores on the iPhone, refuse to use the Apple payment system and also avoid commissions of up to 30%. Apple device users in the EU can also choose their default web browser and make contactless payments without using Apple Pay.
But even if developers choose not to use the App Store or Apple’s payment system, they will still be forced to pay Apple “for nuclear technology” 50 euro cents for each new installation per year if the number of installations exceeds 1 million. Companies with millions of free users, such as B. Meta✴ and Spotify will likely suffer more than smaller developers. Additionally, Apple’s updated EU policy requires developers to continue submitting apps to Apple for review for cybersecurity risks and apparent fraud.
Paulo Trezentos, CEO of alternative app store Aptoide, said: “That came as a surprise to us. We had heard rumors of impending changes, but we didn’t expect them to be so profound. This is definitely a good step, but the fees are still too high. We are preparing to send an official response to the European Commission.”
EU industry chief Thierry Breton commented to Reuters: “The DMA will open the gates of the internet to competition so that digital markets are fair and open. Changes are already taking place. Starting March 7, we will evaluate companies’ proposals based on third-party reviews. […] If the proposed solutions are not good enough, we will not hesitate to take decisive action.”
A European Commission spokesman said the regulator would closely monitor Apple’s actions and statements until the March 7 compliance deadline. The European Commission will not comment on the matter, but urges Apple’s decision-makers to consider their proposals with interested parties.