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Apple plans fees and restrictions for non-App Store apps in the EU

Published Jan 24th, 2024 7:02AM EST
iPhone 15 Pro showing App Store ahead of iOS 17.4 beta release
Image: José Adorno for BGR

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With the Digital Markets Act about to take effect this March, Apple is planning to charge extra fees and add restrictions when it begins allowing third-party downloads from outside the iPhone’s App Store. The information comes from The Wall Street Journal.

The legislation allows third-party developers to offer iPhone apps without requiring a direct download from the App Store. With that, WSJ reports that Meta, Spotify, and Microsoft are among the companies planning how they will take advantage of this change.

Meta, for example, wants to allow downloads directly from Facebook ads. Spotify will likely offer the ability to download its app through its website, while Microsoft could launch its own third-party app store for games.

Interestingly enough, Apple plans to take a similar path to the one it took in the US with third-party payments. According to the company, US developers can offer other payment options outside the App Store, but they still need to pay Apple a 27% fee. In addition, they have to follow some guidelines to promote an external link while also reporting to Apple about every purchase made through this external link so the company can charge a fee.

US developers were furious about how Apple decided to comply with this court ruling, and the company will try to do the same in Europe.

WSJ says Apple wants to maintain “close oversight of apps downloaded outside the App Store” while giving itself the ability to “review each app downloaded outside the App Store” and “collect fees from developers that offer downloads outside of the App Store.”

We expect that Apple will start to prepare for these changes with iOS 17.4, with its beta scheduled to be released soon. Once the company unveils its plans to comply with the European Commission, we’ll have to wait to discover if Europe is satisfied with Apple’s doing or if the company is still promoting anticompetitive behavior.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.

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