Apple updates App Store policies to let US developers link to outside payments

Image Source: Apple

In the wake of the US Supreme Court’s refusal to hear Apple’s appeal in its legal clash with Epic Games, Apple is rolling out several updates to the App Store guidelines, as reported by 9to5Mac

Apple’s adjustments to its App Store guidelines relate to the United States and are similar to changes previously implemented for dating apps in the Netherlands.

A notable change involves explicit guidelines on how developers can integrate external payment platforms, even though they will still be subject to a percentage cut to Apple. The updated policy specifies a 27 percent cut (reduced from the standard 30 percent, or 12 percent for developers in the App Store Small Business Program) for transactions via external payment links. 

Section 3.1.1(a) of the App Store Review Guidelines introduces new regulations, including the necessity for developers to apply for an “entitlement” to enable external payment links. Additionally, developers are required to offer Apple’s in-app purchase system alongside external methods, ensuring a dual payment approach. 

These alterations follow the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear appeals from Apple and Epic, prompting Apple to dismantle its anti-steering regulations. 

Epic’s founder and CEO, Tim Sweeney, expresses dissatisfaction with Apple’s updates, particularly labeling the 27 percent fee as “anticompetitive.” Sweeney criticizes the rules governing the appearance and functionality of external payment links and emphasizes concerns about the user experience when leaving an app for an external site. 

In response, Epic declares its intention to contest Apple’s compliance plan in District Court, while Apple outlines its adherence to the ruling in a new court filing. Epic’s spokesperson, Natalie Munoz, affirms their plan to challenge Apple’s Notice of Compliance at the District Court.

Written by Maya Robertson


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