Apple revises EU App Store rules in response to developer feedback

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Today's release of iOS 17.4 brings big changes to iPhone and the App Store in the European Union, including alternative app stores. In a new developer update, Apple has released details of three changes it is making to alternative app distribution in response to feedback received over the past few weeks.

Apple initially said that developers who accepted the app store's new business terms would not be able to return. Now Apple has relaxed this restriction:

To reduce the risk of unexpected business changes due to the new terms or if you simply change your mind, we've created a one-time option to revert to Apple's standard business terms for its EU apps.  Developers who accept the new EU terms of business can revert once to Apple's existing terms of business for their EU apps – even if they benefited from a reduced commission rate – as long as they have not already used alternative distribution and/or or alternative payment options. . If you cancel your participation, you can register again at any time. If you return to Apple's existing business terms, the Core Technology Fee (CTF), reduced commission rate, and App Store payment processing fees will no longer apply as of the date of termination. Please see full terms and conditions for more details.

If you decide to use this option, please select the “Agreements and Contracts” option when contacting us and indicate that you are terminating the EU Alternative Terms Supplemental Agreement. .

Apple also revised its rules requiring developers to provide a €1,000,000 standby letter of credit to operate an alternative app marketplace. According to Apple, to obtain the rights necessary to operate an alternative app store, developers must do one of the following:

(1) Provide Apple with a stand-by a letter of credit in the amount of EUR 1,000,000 from a financial institution rated at least A or equivalent by S&P, Fitch or Moody's, and maintain this standby letter of credit as long as your alternative application marketplace is operational; or (2) be a participant in the Apple Developer Program in good standing for two or more consecutive years and have an app that was first installed more than one million times per year on iOS in the EU in the previous calendar year.

Finally, Apple says:

To make it easier for developers to sign up for the new terms, we have removed the legal entity requirement that the Addendum must be signed by everyone a participant who controls, is controlled or is controlled by another participant. This means that an organization can now sign up for the new terms at the developer account level.

Full information can be found on the Apple website.

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