Apple’s rivals aren’t happy about its EU App Store changes

last year, introduced new laws to make big tech open up their platforms to competitors. It is the deadline for eligibility , and all eyes were on how Apple, notorious for not playing well with others, would react. Now the company has figured out how to comply with the law, and the result is the kind of harmful compliance everyone has come to expect. Equally predictable was the reaction from a coalition of well-heeled critics hoping for a free slice of the Apple pie.

Digital Markets Act

In 2023, the EU put in place a new regime to prevent big tech from throwing its full weight into the bloc. The Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services Act govern what it calls “gatekeepers,” which are large platforms that connect users and businesses. This includes Meta, Alphabet, Apple, Amazon and (TikTok owner) ByteDance, all of which have large user bases, deep pockets and a lot of power. One of the key provisions of the law was to allow platform owners such as Apple and Google to open up their systems and allow competing services such as alternative app stores. .

On January 25, Apple explains . The document includes references to how the law makes iOS less secure and that Apple needs to take steps to mitigate those risks. Although Apple doesn’t say exactly how much each part of its business makes, the App Store is a major part of its services division. . As a result, Apple will gladly let you create a competing iOS app store, but to do so, you’ll have to climb Mount Everest, dig a tunnel to the center of the Earth, and come up with a million dollars in cash.

Okay, not quite that.

you be able compete, but you won’t I want for

Potentially competing app store creators cannot simply put their products out there and sell them without any oversight. It was clear from the start that even if Apple opened up its platforms, no third-party app store would be allowed to do the final work around the company’s ground rules. If you’re hoping to run Honest Doug’s App Store (Not a Scam) and travel the world, you’re out of luck.

Potential competitors must still meet Apple’s Notarization requirements and have strict rules and controls governing quality, piracy, fraud and payment disputes. (Notarization means that these apps will be verified by Apple.”, with the ability to close the app if detected.) They will need basic rules around data collection and offering users the same level of control they enjoy in the App Store. Let’s not forget to comply with the Digital Services Act, GDPR and a number of other acronyms related to digital services and online privacy. In fact, if you want to manage your own App Store, you should do it at the same level as Apple.

Apple also said that app stores must ensure they can meet their obligations to pay app developers. In this case, it means sharing a letter from the best financial institution with the evidence they have (approx. USD 1.1 million) loan. And to prevent third-party app stores from using Apple’s platform, developers without Apple’s benefit a. they will have to pay once an app has been downloaded more than a million times. This is an installation fee of €0.50 (about 54 cents), which is renewed every 12 months that the app is installed. If this reminds you, you can decide for yourself payment scheme.

Currently, Apple charges developers either $99 or $299, depending on whether it’s for one . Apple then charges a flat fee for any transaction by purchasing the app itself or making an in-app purchase. For small developers making less than $1 million per year, , while big names pay 30 percent. There are exceptions, including “reader” programs that are downloaded for free and linked to subscriptions elsewhere. So far, it’s not clear in which cases (if any) sideloading fees will be preferred over a vanilla “Apple tax” via its own storefront.

Expected Response

Of course, Apple’s statement and all the explanatory details in its developer notes were controversial. Apple’s critics, many of whom felt it had too much power over its platform, were annoyed.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, earlier , was quick to condemn the changes. He was “an insidious new example of malicious conformity.” Additionally, it forces app developers to choose between App Store exclusivity or “an anti-competitive scheme rife with new unnecessary fees for downloads and new Apple taxes for payments they don’t process.”

The App Fairness Coalition, a lobbying group backed by Epic, Spotify and Match Group is one of the biggest supporters. CEO and former Republican spokesman Rick Vanmeter said Apple has no intention of complying with the DMA. He added that the move was “a shameless affront to the European Commission and the millions of European consumers they represent” and urged officials to reject the move.

Despite personal objections from Sweeney and his lobbyists, Epic Games has already said Fortnite – which – will return to iOS. The company said it would , would distribute their titles through it. The announcement added in a tweet that it will continue to “claim to the courts and regulators that Apple has violated the law.”

But it’s not just Apple’s well-heeled rivals who feel the company is poking its nose at the EU with these changes. Andy Yen, founder of the privacy service Proton, told Engadget that Apple’s DMA compliance “is done in bad faith” and that the iPhone maker is “fighting tooth and nail to maintain its profits and monopoly.” developers will not be able to take advantage of them. And the steps “violate users’ fundamental rights by allowing Apple to review apps downloaded outside of the App Store.” He added that “the European Commission cannot allow this blatant bending of the rules.”

But despite the chorus, it is demanded from the European Commission Do something, the body has not yet moved. “We do not comment on these announcements,” a commission spokesperson told Engadget: “We take Apple’s notices into account before the eligibility period.” The spokesperson added that they “strongly encourage designated gatekeepers to test their offerings with third parties.” And that these comments “do not prejudice the Commission’s assessment of these proposals”.

There has been no comment from high-profile EU officials on the matter yet. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Margrethe Vestager, who deals with technology and competition issues, have been active on social media, but not on this issue. Similarly, we are waiting for a response from Spotify and Deezer, both of which own them . Also, Spotify before Apple’s announcement said it would offer software downloads directly from its site.

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