She said Apple Inc. is allowing developers of reader apps, such as Netflix, Spotify and Amazon’s Kindle, to link their customers directly to its registration site.
By doing so, it can bypass the in-app payment system (30 percent commission) entirely. But in those cases where they do not.
In a press release, the company claims that the move closes an investigation by the JFTC, and that it applies to those types of reader applications right now.
Reader apps are a category originally designed by the company to appease companies like Netflix. This is by allowing its users to log into their existing accounts instead of signing up for a new subscription via the App Store (and having to pay Apple fees).
The JFTC confirmed the agreement in its press release, saying the company’s move eliminates the suspected violation of antitrust law.
The panel, which has been investigating the company since 2016, says Apple has pledged to report on the app review transparency status once a year for the next three years.
According to the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), the company has proposed changing the app’s review guidelines in response to the investigation.
The Netflix and Spotify iOS apps are currently useless if you don’t have a subscription. They both offer a login page, without a link to their website, and an honest apology.
In contrast, the Kindle app offers a home page for creating a new Amazon account within the app itself. But you are not allowed to buy books from there, or even in the standard Amazon app. And you must use your browser to purchase.
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Apple agrees to allow apps to link to the web to record
The iPhone maker says it has agreed to allow developers of so-called reader apps to share a single link to their website to help users set up and manage their accounts.
It also says it helps reader app developers protect users when they link to an external website to make purchases.
This indicates that the company may have specific instructions for how these links should appear. It is not clear if the developers are able to mention prices.
It’s worth noting that when Apple rejected Hey email, and even after it later amended that decision, it was very clear that email apps are not reader apps. And that’s even if you signed up outside of the app.
While the Company’s App Review Guidelines indicate that the Reader App may allow users to access previously purchased content. But the company’s new press release specifies that developers of reader apps do not offer in-app digital goods and services for purchase.
This means that Apple offers this exception to companies that do not contribute any in-app purchase commissions to the company. Which includes some of its fiercest critics such as Spotify.
However, Spotify is not impressed with the change, and said Apple’s move is just a step in the right direction. She indicated that she continues to push for new laws such as the Open Application Markets Act.
Apple says the rule won’t take effect until early 2022. It doesn’t apply to games, the largest and most profitable category in the App Store.
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