PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

Apple Announces App Distribution Changes to Comply With DMA

Digital Markets Act

Apple has made some changes to its policies around app distribution in the European Union (EU) to comply with the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA).

The changes were made in response to feedback the firm received about its previously updated terms for app distribution in the region, Apple said in a Tuesday (March 5) update posted on its website for developers.

In one change, Apple now allows corporate entities to sign up for the new terms at the developer account level, rather than by “each membership that controls, is controlled by, or is under control with another membership,” according to the update. This move is meant to make it easier for more developers to sign up.

In another modification, Apple now allows developers a one-time option to terminate the amended agreement and go back to Apple’s standard business terms for EU apps, under certain conditions, the update said. This is meant to help developers reduce the risk of unexpected business changes.

A third change aims to make it easier for developers to create alternative app marketplaces by letting developers qualify without a stand-by letter of credit, per the update.

The changes come after criticism of Apple’s previous proposal by app developers, and a day before the DMA goes into effect, Reuters reported Wednesday (March 6).

In January, Apple announced new fees, conditions and proposals allowing developers to distribute their apps in the EU, outside of the company’s App Store, according to the report.

It was reported in February that some other tech giants like Meta and Microsoft said Apple’s plans didn’t comply with the DMA.

Critics said Apple’s proposed changes to its mobile software in Europe, such as allowing users to download apps from other sources and access alternative payments systems, did not go far enough.

The company’s App Store was at the center of the controversy, with critics arguing that Apple’s new charges announced in January could hinder the creation of alternative app stores.

On Tuesday, EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager told Bloomberg TV that the DMA’s first focus will be on app stores, with her priority being that smaller app stores be given fair access to operating systems.