Faced with growing legal challenges, Apple allows certain applications to bypass its payment systems

App developers have scored a small victory in their continuing battle against Apple’s payment processing system that has boosted legislative efforts in places like South Korea, India, and the United States.

In a bid to close an ongoing investigation by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), Apple today announced that it will allow “reading apps”, such as Netflix, Spotify, and Kindle, to connect from from the App Store to their own websites and payment processing systems.

While the deal was reached in Japan, Apple said in a statement on Wednesday that it would apply to users around the world in early 2022. The move will allow those companies to avoid commission fees of up to $ 30. % that Apple applies to developers who sell their services through its App Store. The option to bypass Apple’s payment system was not previously available to these companies.

“Because developers of reading apps do not offer in-app digital goods and services for purchase, Apple has agreed with the JFTC to allow developers of these apps to share a single link to their website. to help users set up and manage their account, ”the company said. said in his statement.

Apple made the decision to allow certain apps to bypass its payment processing system because it faces potential legal issues in countries like South Korea, India, and the United States. Above, the company logo is displayed at the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue on June 17, 2015 in New York City.
Photo by Eric Thayer / Getty Images

South Korea recently passed a law banning Apple and Google from forcing developers to use the two companies’ payment processing systems. The United States Senate introduced bipartite legislation in mid-August proposing a similar rule. Reuters reported that an Indian agency recently initiated antitrust action against Apple on similar grounds.

While Apple’s easing of payment restrictions on eBooks, magazines, newspapers, audio, music and video providers may seem like a victory for those who support current legislative efforts, some companies said the tech giant still has a long way to go. .

“Apple should open up iOS on the basis of hardware, stores, payments and services, each competing individually on its merits,” Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, said on Twitter. “Instead, they’re doing a literally day-to-day recalculation of divide and conquer in hopes of getting away with most of their ligature practices.”

Epic Games, the creator of the popular Fortnite video game, has filed an antitrust action against Apple and Google after being removed from each of their platforms following changes it implemented that required players to make purchases far away. the app stores of the two tech giants.

While Sweeney may fear that Apple’s recent move may divide and conquer the app community, it appears Epic Games has maintained at least one prominent ally in Spotify. The music streaming company will continue to push its antitrust case forward in the European Union, where it alleges Apple is unfairly thwarting competitors to its streaming service, Apple Music.

“A limited anti-directional patch doesn’t solve all of our problems,” Spotify wrote in a statement.

About Matthew R. Dailey

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