NIXSolutions: Apple Faces EU Scrutiny Over App Store Practices

Apple’s core technology fees are under EU scrutiny, particularly regarding their impact on indie developers. Any developer opting out of the App Store must pay a Core Technology Fee (CTF) of 50 eurocents per install per year. The fee, triggered after one million installs, raises concerns about hindering the spread of popular free apps. Riley Testut, creator of AltStore, highlighted this issue, noting that the fees could potentially harm developers whose apps go viral. Apple acknowledges the problem but hasn’t offered a solution yet. Margrethe Vestager, the EU antitrust chief, affirmed that the EU would investigate this matter closely.

NIX Solutions

Apple Security Warnings

Apple’s use of security warnings to dissuade users from third-party app stores also draws scrutiny. Vestager criticized such warnings as “unreasonable,” cautioning against discouraging users from exploring alternatives. She emphasized that the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) aims to foster market openness without compromising security, leaving security measures to individual service providers. Any attempts to undermine competitors through disparagement could trigger investigations, she warned. The EU has received substantial feedback on proposed compliance measures related to the DMA, indicating a high level of interest and concern among affected parties.

Implications for Market Competition

The scrutiny on Apple’s App Store practices carries significant implications for market competition. Vestager’s remarks underscore the EU’s commitment to ensuring a level playing field for all app developers and promoting consumer choice. By addressing concerns related to Core Technology Fees and security warnings, the EU seeks to foster innovation and competition within the digital marketplace. The outcome of the investigation could have far-reaching effects on Apple’s App Store policies and may set precedents for similar platforms globally, notes NIXSolutions.

We’ll keep you updated on the progress of the investigation into Apple’s App Store practices.