Apple Anticipates App Store Policy Shift in Response to EU Regulations

Several large technology companies, including Apple, will have to abide by the EU's Digital Markets Act rules by the end of the next year.

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Apple anticipates having to modify its App Store policies to comply with the upcoming Digital Markets Act (DMA) of the European Union. According to a recent filing the iPhone manufacturer made with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the business plans to modify its policies on programs that run on its iOS and iPadOS operating systems, respectively. Up till now, the EU has listed seven significant tech companies, among them Apple, that will be subject to the new rules.

According to TechCrunch, Apple stated in its most recent Form 10-K filing with the US SEC that it anticipates needing to modify the App Store to comply with the DMA rule of the EU. The iPhone manufacturer also stated in the document that it may make additional modifications to its guidelines regarding platform access fees for developers, external app distribution, and information about alternative pricing methods.

The story claims that Morgan Stanley analysts have informed investors that the shift in Apple’s terminology implies that modifications to the App Store’s policies, such as permitting third-party apps on European devices, are probably about to start. The DMA regulations of the European Union are anticipated to come into full force in 2024, affecting businesses with a market worth EUR 75 million (about Rs. 670 crore) or 45 million monthly active users (MAUs) residing in the EU.

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According to a Bloomberg story from last year, Apple was already setting up its systems to accept other app stores on the iPhone and iPad to comply with upcoming EU legislation that was designed to limit the power of Big Tech companies.

Developers may be able to avoid Apple’s up to 30 percent commission on all App Store transactions if the mandated distribution cap is removed. Apple launched an antitrust lawsuit against Fortnite creator Epic Games in the US, and for the most part, won. The developer was fired for disobeying App Store standards. 

When the EU’s DMA regulations take effect in 2024, Apple won’t be the only Big Tech company affected. According to the new regulations, digital companies must make it simple for users to alter default settings, sideload programs from stores other than their own, and facilitate cross-platform chat on large messaging networks while preserving access to essential services for smaller platforms.

According to Bloomberg, the company’s changes will only take effect in the EU for the foreseeable future. However, if legislation or regulations restricting the reach of Big Tech firms are passed in other regions, the move may result in the company opening up its systems in those other regions.

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