Apple announced a slew of App Store policy changes today to conform to the EU’s Digital Market Act, including supporting alternative app stores (Apple calls them ‘app marketplaces’) for the first time in Europe.
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has immediately come out to criticize the changes, in a post on his X account. Sweeney says the new rules are an “anticompetitive scheme rife with junk fees”, and an example of “malicious compliance”.
Sweeney says Apple’s new polices are illegal under the terms of the Digital Market Act, because Apple forces developers to choose between the traditional 15/30% commission terms or an “also-illegal anticompetitive scheme rife with new Junk Fees and new taxes on payments they don’t process”.
The “Junk Fees” comment is presumably in reference to the new commission structure which includes a new Core Technology Fee. The CTF is paid per annual install, at a charge of €0.50 payable per app instance downloaded by an account per year. The CTF applies to all apps with high volume installs in excess of a million per year. The CTF also applies to any third-party app marketplaces that crop up, every time a user downloads the alternative app store.
It’s less clear what Sweeney means when he says Apple is introducing “new taxes on payments they don’t process”. The new EU commission structure lowers Apple’s commission to 17% for apps sold through the App Store, and an extra 3% if using In-App Purchase. Payments processed using alternative payment systems incur no commission.
Later in the X post, Sweeney says Epic is determined to launch the Epic Games Store on iOS and Android. But he says the current policies allows Apple to decide whether to allow Epic Games Store or not. He concludes by saying there’s a lot more “hot garbage” in Apple’s announcements today, alluding to future disclosures from the company.
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.