EU cracks down on Apple’s App Store: Anti-steering rules and developer fees under fire

The European Union (EU) is taking action against Apple’s App Store practices. The EU has accused Apple of violating the Digital Markets Act (DMA), a recently implemented regulation, with two key points of contention: anti-steering rules and developer fees.

App Store

Anti-steering issue

One of the EU’s main concerns is Apple’s App Store rules that prevent developers from informing users about alternative purchasing options outside the App Store. This is referred to as “anti-steering.”

Imagine a news app within the App Store wanting to let users know about a cheaper subscription option on their website. Under Apple’s current rules, this wouldn’t be allowed. The EU argues that such restrictions limit user choice and potentially inflate prices for consumers.


Developer fees under scrutiny

Adding fuel to the fire, the EU has also launched an investigation into Apple’s developer fees. App developers selling digital goods and services within the App Store are forced to pay Apple a commission, typically 30%.

This fee structure has long been criticized for being excessive and hindering innovation. The EU’s investigation will determine if these fees comply with the DMA’s fair competition regulations.

Potential consequences for Apple

If the EU finds Apple in violation of the DMA, the tech giant could face hefty fines. The DMA allows for penalties of up to 10% of a company’s global turnover, which could translate to billions of euros for Apple. Additionally, the EU could compel Apple to change its App Store practices to comply with the DMA.

What’s next?

Apple has the opportunity to respond to the EU’s accusations. The situation is ongoing, and a final decision from the EU is expected by March 2025. This case has significant implications for the future of app stores and digital marketplaces.

(Via MacRumors)

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