As Apple opens the App Store (a little) in EU, winners and losers emerge

**Key takeaways**

– Apple is changing its fees in the App Store in Europe in response to new EU rules.
– The changes are intended to make things safer and more private.
– Charging for access hasn’t been universally defined.
– Developers will be able to offer apps via their own secure stores using their own payment processing systems.
– Some features like Family Purchase Sharing will not be compatible with apps downloaded outside the store.
– Part of the changes mean cloud gaming services will be made available in the App Store.
– A new choice screen in Safari will be introduced for European users to select a default browser to use on the device.


Apple is bowing to EU rules in the App Store and is introducing new fees for developers. But why the fees, and who should really decide what they are? As Apple takes its first steps down this route, you should consider what it means for you, as a developer or user, and ask what should be the price for access to a platform? And is that a regulator’s decision or a market matter?

**Frequently asked questions**

**1. Why is Apple introducing these changes in Europe?**
Answer: Apple has to comply with the Digital Markets Act’s requirements in the European Union.

**2. What will the new changes mean for customers?**
Answer: Customers will be able to purchase software for iOS devices outside the App Store via additional payment systems, but with additional measures in place to protect their privacy and security.

**3. How will the new changes affect developers?**
Answer: Developers will be able to offer apps via their own secure stores using their own payment processing systems, along with additional APIs and permissions from Apple.

**4. Will refunds be available for payments made using alternative payment processing providers?**
Answer: No, refunds will not be available and Apple’s help services such as Report a Problem won’t be available for apps purchased outside the store.

**5. Will cloud gaming services be available in the new App Store?**
Answer: Yes, cloud gaming services will now be made available in the App Store, though there may be some delay as developers submit their apps.

**6. What fees will be charged under the new European business terms?**
Answer: iOS apps will pay a reduced commission of either 10% or 17% depending on the transaction for digital goods and services. Additionally, there are €0.50 fees for apps distributed from the App Store and a 3% fee for apps sold using Apple’s payment processing system.

This entire situation shows how the changing face of regulation in the app store space could threaten Apple and may not necessarily offer the utopian promise its proponents like to imagine. While this is clearly the legal environment where the company, developers and consumers have to operate — it’s hard not to anticipate more tension around these significant changes.


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