Apple announced on Thursday a series of “changes” to its online App Store, as part of an agreement to settle a class action lawsuit filed against it by American developers.
In a statement, the Cupertino (California) company said it will allow developers to communicate payment methods directly to their users outside the App Store.
Apple noted that, “as always,” developers will not pay a commission for sales made outside its online store.
The agreement, which is subject to approval by a federal judge, also states that Apple will create a fund to help small American developers.
That purse will benefit those who have earned $1 million or less in each calendar year from selling on the App Store and have maintained an account on the online store between June 4, 2015 and April 26, 2020. According to Apple, this covers “99% of developers in the United States.”
The commission that Google and Apple (the two main owners of app stores for cell phones and other devices) charge developers every time an Internet user makes a purchase is the reason for a tough confrontation between the latter and the technological giants, and has even reached the judicial arena.
In recent months, both companies decided to reduce their commission from 30% to 15%, although this percentage depends on the amount invoiced annually by developers.
Epic Games, owner of the popular video game Fortnite, sued Apple in August last year for alleged anti-competitive practices after the iPhone company withdrew its app from the App Store in retaliation to Epic’s new payment policy, which precisely avoided paying this 30%.
Epic accuses the technology company of being a monopolist and harming consumers with higher prices and lack of alternatives, while Apple defends itself by ensuring that it competes freely with alternatives such as Google Play.