Apple Buckles and Changes DMA Rules—Keeps Core Tech Fee

The Apple “Core Technology Fee” for EU app developers will stand, but Apple caved and announced concessions based on feedback from its app developers. It will no longer require that corporate entities sign up for the new DMA terms, and it won’t require a standby letter of credit. Now, developers under certain circumstances will have the option for a one-time switch back to the existing terms—the standard 15% to 30% commission, not the reduced one under the new rules.

Still at issue is Apple’s new “Core Technology Fee,” under which developers pay Apple €0.50 for each first annual install per year over a 1 million threshold for apps distributed outside its App Store. Spotify and Epic Games call Apple’s plan extortion. Mark Zuckerberg weighed in saying the requirements were “so onerous” he didn’t see how any developer would be able to adopt them. 

Apple didn’t make any move to adjust its fee structure with these new changes. Rather, it’s adjusting some of the more obviously less compliant terms — like the rule that said that marketplace app developers would need a €1,000,000 letter of credit from an A-rated financial institution to receive the DMA entitlement. That would prevent individual and smaller developers from signing up, which would mean Apple wasn’t fully in line with the law.

The other change will allow a larger corporate entity to pick and choose which of its developer accounts opt into the DMA rules, and which do not at the developer account level. Before, Apple was requiring that corporations sign up each membership it controls if it chose to opt into the DMA rules. That also doesn’t make sense, as various arms of a larger corporation should be able to make their own business decisions and act accordingly.

Apple says developers can terminate the DMA Addendum one time without terminating their Developer Agreement — but only if “you have never had an Application be an Alternative App Marketplace (EU), be distributed through an Alternative App Marketplace (EU), use Linking Out, or use Alternative Payment Processing.”

Apple announced these changes to its DMA rules alongside the launch of Xcode 15.3 and the latest SDKs for iOS 17.4, iPadOS 17.4, macOS 14.4, tvOS 17.4, visionOS 1.1, and watchOS 10.4. Developers can now begin to submit apps under the DMA terms, Apple says, and can now measure the number of first annual installs their apps have accumulated.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.