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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Apple expands exemptions from its app store fee for small developers in the EU

Apple updates its EU app store policy to exempt more small and non-commercial developers from fees, amidst regulatory and competitive debates.

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Apple has updated its policy regarding the Core Technology Fee (CTF) for developers in the European Union, offering more exemptions, particularly for small developers and those creating free apps. This change is part of Apple's efforts to comply with the EU's Digital Markets Act.

Under the new guidelines, developers of free apps that generate no revenue—whether through of digital or physical goods or —are exempt from the CTF. This move aims to support students, hobbyists, and non-commercial developers by allowing them to reach a broad audience without incurring additional costs.

Additionally, small developers with annual global revenues under €10 million are granted a three-year grace period from the CTF to support their growth and innovation in app development. During this period, these developers will not be charged the CTF, even if their apps surpass 1 million annual installs.

For developers whose revenues escalate to between €10 million and €50 million during the three-year window, Apple will begin imposing the CTF only after the app reaches the first million annual installs, with a maximum cap of €1 million per year. This structured approach provides a clearer path for developers as they scale their operations without facing immediate financial pressures.

Despite these exemptions, the policy adjustments have faced criticism. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has openly criticised the update as “anticonpetitive,” accusing Apple of continuing to impose fees on transactions that do not involve its platforms, thereby violating EU laws. This underscores the ongoing tension between large tech companies and developers over app store policies and fees.

Apple also announced plans to apply these business terms to iPad apps later in the fall, following the EU's recent designation of iPadOS as a gatekeeper under the DMA. Developers will have the option to adopt these alternative business terms for their iPadOS apps or continue under Apple's existing terms.

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Emma Job
Emma Job
Emma is a freelance news editor at Tech Edition. With a decade's experience in content writing, she revels in both crafting and immersing herself in narratives. From tracking down viral trends to delving into the most recent news stories, her goal is to deliver insightful and timely content to her readers.

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