Apple revises App Store rules in the EU in response to developer feedback

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Today’s release of iOS 17.4 comes with big changes for the iPhone and App Store in the European Union, including alternative app marketplaces. In a new developer update, Apple has the details on three changes it is making to alternative app distribution in response to feedback it’s received over the last several weeks.

Initially, Apple said that developers who opted into the new app store business terms would not be able to switch back. Now, Apple has loosened that restriction:

To help reduce the risk of unexpected business changes under the new terms, or if you simply change your mind, we’ve created a one-time option to switch back to Apple’s standard business terms for their EU apps.  Developers who adopt the new EU business terms can switch back to Apple’s existing business terms for their EU apps one time — even if they’ve benefited from the reduced commission rate — as long they have not yet used alternative distribution and/or alternative payment options. If you opt out, you can opt in again at any time. If you switch back to Apple’s existing business terms, the Core Technology Fee (CTF), reduced commission rate, and payment processing fee on the App Store will no longer apply as of the date of termination. For more details, view the full terms and conditions.

If you choose to exercise this option, please select the Agreements and Contracts option when contacting us and specify that you are terminating the Alternative EU Terms Addendum.

Apple has also revised its rules around requiring developers to provide a €1,000,000 standby letter of credit in order to operate an alternative app marketplace. To qualify for the entitlement necessary to operate an alternative app marketplace, Apple says developers must do either of the following:

(1) Provide Apple a stand-by letter of credit in the amount of €1,000,000 from a financial institution that’s at least A-rated or equivalent by S&P, Fitch, or Moody’s, and maintain that standby letter of credit as long as your alternative app marketplace is in operation; or (2) be a member of good standing in the Apple Developer Program for two continuous years or more, and have an app that had more than one million first annual installs on iOS in the EU in the prior calendar year.

Finally, Apple says:

To make it easier for more developers to sign up for the new terms, we’ve removed the corporate entity requirement that the Addendum must be signed by each membership that controls, is controlled by, or is under control with another membership. This means an entity can now choose to sign up for the new terms at the developer account level. 

Full details are on Apple’s website.

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