Apple will make changes to the way the App Store works after an investigation by regulators.
The company is set to relax some of the rules that have been accused of being anti-competitive and suppressing apps from other companies.
Apps that provide content — such as Netflix, or Amazon’s Kindle — will now be able to show links to their websites so users can sign up for paid accounts directly.
Until now, Apple required that all such apps run straight away, and the companies were even banned from suggesting users to sign up in other ways.
The concession is part of a deal with Japan’s anti-trust regulator, which said the change was enough to close a five-year investigation into Apple, which focused on video and music apps but did not consider games. Was.
Japan is far from the only country with an official investigation into Apple, its rules on the App Store, and whether competing apps are being unfairly held back. The company is still being investigated by regulators in the US, Europe, the UK and elsewhere.
The restriction on providing links to what Apple calls a “reader app” was lifted, although the change actually refers to any app that allows users to purchase and consume content. This category includes many of the iPhone’s high profile apps, including Netflix and Spotify.
The change is set to take effect early next year and will be implemented globally, said Apple, which will have the final say in which apps qualify as Reader apps.
Some companies said the concession was not enough.
“The limited anti-steering fix does not solve all of our issues,” Spotify Technology said in a statement. The music streaming company is pursuing an antitrust complaint against Apple with EU competition authorities.
Apple’s App Store is the core of its $53.8 billion services segment, and it collects commissions of between 15% and 30% from in-app purchases.
Its rules for game makers have been the most controversial, especially the practice that Epic Games is fighting to not allow developers to take other forms of payment inside apps.
That case could determine whether Apple can keep control of the apps that appear on its devices and whether it is allowed to charge commissions to developers.
In response to Apple’s latest announcement on its App Store, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney accused Apple of trying to please with inadequate piecemeal measures.
“Apple should open up iOS based on hardware, stores, payments, and services, each of which is individually competing on its own merits. Instead, they split away in hopes of doing away with most of their tying up practices.” Daal and Jeeto are literally recalculating day by day,” he said on Twitter.
An official of Japan’s Fair Trade Commission insisted that its investigation did not cover the Games.
“The Games are also likely to be investigated,” he told a media briefing.
Apple accounts for 46.5% of Japan’s smartphone market, with more than 30 million sold annually.
The iPhone maker’s latest concession is the second in as many weeks. It reached a deal last week in a class-action lawsuit with a group of developers in the United States, ending a ban on them from telling users about payment options in email messages.
Additional reporting by Reuters
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /