Apple changed the main rules of the App Store
Apple changed the main rules of the App Store

Apple has agreed to ease App Store restrictions on small developers and settle class-action lawsuits while iPhone makers await the same judge's decision in another App Store lawsuit from game developer Fortnite.

The settlement agreement includes changes to the way all developers communicate with customers that the same judge noted in the Fortnite case.

The company retains most of the business practices that have been challenged in courts and legislators on the App Store.

Instead, he donated $100 million, a small donation to a company worth more than $2.4 trillion. It has also dropped many restrictions of email marketing. Even considering that in previous US Supreme Court cases, companies were able to prevent their business partners from referring customers to other payment methods, legal experts find this difficult to defend.

A group of small software developers filed a complaint in 2019. The company is accused of violating antitrust laws and charging commissions of up to 30%.

California-based Cupertino said it has entered into a proposed settlement agreement with US developers with annual sales of no more than $1 million. As part of the agreement, the developers have waived any claims regarding excessive commissions.

The newly proposed settlement requires approval from Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, a judge in the Northern District of California who is expected to rule on the Epic Games case.

Apple changed the main rules of the App Store

As part of the settlement agreement, the company announced that it will be making changes to the App Store. These include extending last year's changes by three years and lowering junior developer commissions to 15%.

Developers can always choose other payment methods outside of their apps to avoid company commissions. Some companies, such as Netflix, are avoiding Apple's in-app payment system.

However, iPhone manufacturers adhere to strict rules for developers who use the contact details of customers registered through the App Store to later direct those customers to alternative payment methods. It's usually cheaper because they don't take commissions.

Small developers have long resisted corporate restrictions that prevent them from establishing direct billing relationships with customers.

During an Epic Games trial in May, a judge criticized Apple's rules. Even if Epic Games didn't make it the heart of their business.

"Apple appears to be uncompetitive when it comes to concealing this information in a way that does not directly reflect consumers," the judge said.

These changes apply to all developers worldwide, not just the small class of US developers directly covered by the settlement agreement. The company has also set up a $100 million aid fund for small developers.

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