Apple says it spent "tens of thousands of hours” on the DMA App Store solution after Microsoft complains

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Key notes

  • Rivals like Meta and Microsoft argue the changes don’t go far enough, while developers fear additional fees in alternative app stores.
  • The EU Commission could reject Apple’s proposal and impose fines, leading to a potential legal battle.
  • The coming months will be crucial in determining the future of Apple’s App Store in Europe.

Apple’s attempt to comply with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) by opening its App Store is encountering significant challenges. The proposed changes, aimed at addressing concerns over Apple’s dominance in the mobile app market, face criticism from rivals and developers, raising questions about their effectiveness and compliance with the regulations.

Apple will allow users in the EU to download apps from alternative app stores and utilize different payment methods within apps as a response to the DMA. Developers can either remain on the App Store with its existing commission structure or distribute their apps through alternative stores while benefiting from a reduced commission rate of 17%. However, opting for alternative stores would also involve additional fees.

Tech giants like Meta and Microsoft have raised concerns over Apple’s proposed App Store changes, arguing that it creates an unlevel playing field. There are also concerns that the changes might not fully comply with the spirit of the DMA. Developers are uncertain whether to stick with the familiar yet potentially expensive App Store or venture into alternative stores with complex fee structures.

On the other hand, Apple said it spent “months in conversation with the European Commission” about the DMA and that its plan reflects the work of “hundreds of Apple team members who spent tens of thousands of hours” on the solution.

The future of Apple’s App Store in Europe is at stake in the coming months. The EU Commission can reject Apple’s proposal and impose fines for non-compliance with the DMA, leading to a legal battle. The March deadline for compliance could see rival companies like Meta and Microsoft challenge Apple’s dominant position in the European app market.

Apple has faced criticism over its App Store policies, with Epic Games filing a lawsuit alleging anti-competitive practices. While Apple largely won the case, it was required to allow developers to include links to external payment methods within their apps, potentially impacting the current situation in Europe.

More here.

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