In 2019, a group of small American developers filed a lawsuit against Apple in which they claimed that the company’s App Store is an illegal monopoly. During ongoing competition crime investigations around the world, Apple has now chosen to enter into a settlement with the developers.
The settlement was presented in two press releases, and involves both changes in the rules for all developers and that Apple introduces a support fund for smaller developers in the US.
The rules that are changed are, among other things, a “clarification” that developers have the right to communicate directly with users about alternative ways to pay for subscriptions and other things, but still not directly in the app.
Apple and the developers also agree that the current Small Business Program structure will remain in place for at least three years. The search function on the App Store must continue to be based on objective criteria such as relevance and reviews.
Developers will have the opportunity to choose between over 500 different price levels on the buy-in-app and direct purchase – today there are fewer than 100 levels. Apple will also make it clearer how developers can appeal rejected apps.
Finally, Apple will set up a support fund for smaller developers in the United States. All US developers who sold apps on the App Store between 2015 and 2021 for less than a million dollars a year will receive a share of the fund. The payment follows a scale depending on how much income they had in the store.