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The European Commission has formally announced its preliminary view that Apple's App Store policies are in breach of the Digital Markets Act (DMA), specifically in relation to anti-steering rules.

App-Store-vs-EU-Feature-2.jpg

Under the DMA, developers distributing their apps via Apple's App Store should be able, free of charge, to inform their customers of alternative cheaper purchasing possibilities, steer them to those offers, and allow them to make purchases. The Commission says that Apple's "business terms" with developers prevent that.

"Developers cannot provide pricing information within the app or communicate in any other way with their customers to promote offers available on alternative distribution channels," said the Commission in its press release.

The Commission also said that Apple's link-out process for steering customers is "subject to several restrictions imposed by Apple that prevent app developers from communicating, promoting offers and concluding contracts through the distribution channel of their choice."

In addition, the Commission believes that the fees charged by Apple for facilitating new customer acquisition via the App Store "go beyond what is strictly necessary for such remuneration." For example, Apple charges developers a fee for every purchase of digital goods or services a user makes within seven days after a link-out from the app, and the Commission sees this as excessive.

The Commission also said it was opening a new non-compliance procedure against Apple over concerns that its new contractual requirements for third-party app developers and app marketplaces, including its €0.50 Core Technology Fee, "fall short of ensuring effective compliance with Apple's obligations under the DMA."

Responding to the Commission's announcement, Apple provided MacRumors with the following statement:
"Throughout the past several months, Apple has made a number of changes to comply with the DMA in response to feedback from developers and the European Commission. We are confident our plan complies with the law, and estimate more than 99% of developers would pay the same or less in fees to Apple under the new business terms we created. All developers doing business in the EU on the App Store have the opportunity to utilize the capabilities that we have introduced, including the ability to direct app users to the web to complete purchases at a very competitive rate. As we have done routinely, we will continue to listen and engage with the European Commission."
Now that the Commission has informed Apple of its preliminary view, Apple can exercise its defence by examining the documents in the Commission's investigation file and replying in writing to the Commission's preliminary findings. If Apple was found to be in breach of the DMA, the company could face fines up to 10% of its worldwide revenue. The Commission's final decision is due by March 2025.



Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: EU Accuses Apple's App Store Steering Rules of Violating DMA and Opens Investigation into Developer Fees
 
Last edited:

Account25476

macrumors regular
Jul 8, 2021
173
1,039
Let’s be honest: Apple sells many products and services in Europe at prices that are 25% higher than in the US and much of the rest of the world.
If you want to back up data, iCloud is the only option.
If you want to download an app, the App Store was the only option until recently.
Apple has been dictates for decades how its products are used, creating and maintaining a monopoly by forcing users to use their products and services.
I’m not saying this needs to stop, but either offer prices comparable to the competition or continue charging high prices like now but open up to competition.
 

Fuzzball84

macrumors 68020
Apr 19, 2015
2,412
5,615
I'm glad someone sticks it to Apple.
However, the sad thing is that we, the consumers, will finally pay that fine.
As is the case with any company that gets fined. You didn’t think the shareholders would pick up that bill did you? Just a small percentage here and there…
 

ThailandToo

macrumors 6502
Apr 18, 2022
473
895
Let’s be honest: Apple sells many products and services in Europe at prices that are 25% higher than in the US and much of the rest of the world.
If you want to back up data, iCloud is the only option.
If you want to download an app, the App Store was the only option until recently.
Apple has been dictates for decades how its products are used, creating and maintaining a monopoly by forcing users to use their products and services.
I’m not saying this needs to stop, but either offer prices comparable to the competition or continue charging high prices like now but open up to competition.
Called VAT!
 

SoldOnApple

macrumors 65816
Jul 20, 2011
1,150
1,914
Apple really doesn't need to worry as long as they keep innovating. As long as they have the money to risk on innovations. Once that money runs out Apple is in big trouble if the iPhone and App Store well ran dry because of EU style rules spreading around the world. If Apple were ever forced to charge money for software updaetes, like they used to before Lion, then it's game over. Apple becomes a workstation for graphic designers company again.
 

desslr

macrumors 6502
Feb 11, 2021
358
1,324
The lawyers will be winners out of this.

The EU is certainly overreaching, they need the fines to plug the big black hole left by the UK after Brexit.

Good luck Apple. But you won’t need it… poor drafting of a law is an EU problem not an Apple problem.

Courts deal with the letter of the law not the spirit of it. They deal with the facts not the emotion.
 

contacos

macrumors 603
Nov 11, 2020
5,057
19,533
Mexico City living in Berlin
Are there any workable alternatives to the original implementation of % per transaction that wouldn’t screw over small developers?

The most straight forward / obvious solution would be to be able to just download an IPA file directly from your browser to the download folder > tap on it > "are you sure you want to install XY*" > "Yes" > App installed. That's it. There could even be a system "firewall" to make sure it does not include any malicious code before it is actually installed / executed.

* previous step required to enable "developer mode" in the settings somewhere with a warning what it actually means to install apps from other sources
 

SanderEvers

macrumors 6502
Jan 27, 2010
421
1,161
Netherlands
Let’s be honest: Apple sells many products and services in Europe at prices that are 25% higher than in the US and much of the rest of the world.
EU prices include VAT and often additional EU fees. (between 19-30% in total, depending on the country. US prices don't include sales tax)

If you want to back up data, iCloud is the only option.
False, you can make local backups of your data to your PC/Mac and store them anywhere you want.

If you want to download an app, the App Store was the only option until recently.
False you can buy an Android

Apple has been dictates for decades how its products are used, creating and maintaining a monopoly by forcing users to use their products and services.
False, Apple does not have a monopoly. AND see previous answer.

I’m not saying this needs to stop, but either offer prices comparable to the competition or continue charging high prices like now but open up to competition.
A lot of Android devices are even more expensive.
 

desslr

macrumors 6502
Feb 11, 2021
358
1,324
As is the case with any company that gets fined. You didn’t think the shareholders would pick up that bill did you? Just a small percentage here and there…

The courts will look at the fine and decide if it is lawful. Just because the EU quangos think it should be paid doesn’t mean a court looking at facts not emotion, letter of the law not spirit of the law, will agree.

The EU lawyers couldn't even draft a watertight law, they won’t be competent enough to go up against the best of the best at Apple.

In Cook We Trust
 

ashdelacroix

macrumors regular
Jan 1, 2013
217
856
"Apple charges developers a fee for every purchase of digital goods or services a user makes within seven days after a link-out from the app".

I've disagreed with the EU Commission on much of this and I am anti-EU in general, but practices like this are ridiculous and appear like Apple wants to bait the Commission. I find it surprising that Apple wants to invite further investigation by making such rules. As commenters above have said, no one can be surprised that this attracts regulatory attention. If Apple is playing a cleverer game here, I'm obviously too stupid to see what that is.
 
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