Last Updated: September 1, 2021
Customers will soon get emails from Apple app developers instructing users on how to
bypass Apple’s payment systems.
The arrangement, which comes with a $100 million payout from Apple to be dispersed among App Store developers who have received less than $1 million in the last six years, is a small but noticeable concession from the corporation, whose iron grip on the App Store has earned it billions in profit while also attracting accusations of illegal monopolistic practices.
The terms must still be decided in court. Developers will use email addresses obtained from App Store users to send them emails about payment options outside of Apple’s system once the feature is activated.
“This hard-won agreement will benefit US iOS developers who market their digital products through the App Store, particularly small developers who devote so much passion and enthusiasm to their work,” said Steve Berman, one of the lawyers representing the developers.
Other regulations in the broad agreement include a guarantee that Apple will continue to offer its “small company program,” which reduces the App Store commission from 30% to 15% for developers earning less than $1 million per year, for at least another three years, and a pledge to provide more pricing flexibility within the App Store.
In a statement filed with the court in Oakland, California, Richard Czeslawski, one of the app developers who initiated the complaint that Apple is resolving, called the ability to contact users a “game-changer.” He predicted that app developers would “take full advantage of this change in consumer communications as a method to minimise further commissions paid to Apple.”
In addition, regulators worldwide are looking into methods to increase competition in the Google and Apple app stores. For example, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission explored app store regulation, making it more straightforward for users to pick alternative payment methods.