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Apple updates rules surrounding EU DMA compliance to address developer concerns

Apple updates how developers are affected by its EU DMA compliance

Developers in the EU have improved the ability to sign up for Apple's updated terms, a one-time exit clause, and new eligibility criteria that should address many concerns.

After Apple announced how it would handle the European Union Digital Markets Act, it was called malicious compliance by some. After meeting with developers and copious feedback, Apple has made some changes to those rules days before the DMA goes into effect.

According to information provided by Apple and updated documentation, the terms have had three significant changes made to address developer concerns. It'll be easier to create an alternative marketplace and undo the new contract if needed.

The new rules created by the DMA are not required for developers. The developer must opt-in and sign an addendum agreeing to new rules regarding how Apple gets a commission.

Apple has removed the corporate entity requirement that made it so every account attached to a company had to sign the contract addendum. It is now controlled on the account level, allowing a business to manage multiple developer accounts with different rules in and out of the App Store.

A primary concern surrounding Apple's new EU rules was the Core Technology Fee, which would require developers to pay a half euro for each annual install over a threshold of 1 million. This rule could cause financial trouble for apps like Widgetsmith that wouldn't make enough money to cover a sudden $50k bill due to a spike in popularity.

Now, if a developer approaches the one million download mark, there is a single chance to back out of the new contract. The developer can terminate the addendum and return to having an app in the App Store with the usual 30% or 15% cut.

That one-time escape clause can be activated at any time. However, if the developer signs the addendum again, there's no going back.

Finally, Apple has made it easier for developers to create alternative app marketplaces by not requiring a standby letter of credit under certain circumstances. If the developer's account has existed for two years and has an established app business in the EU with more than 1 million first annual installs, the entity could open an alternative marketplace without the standby letter of credit.

The ability to run alternative app marketplaces or download apps from outside of the App Store is enabled by iOS 17.4. Apple released iOS 17.4 to the public earlier on Tuesday.