The news: Apple will let developers tell users about purchasing options available outside the iOS App Store, per Ars Technica. The iPhone-maker agreed to this and other concessions to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by two app developers in 2019.
How we got here: Apple and Google have been under fire from their developer communities because of monopolistic practices regarding mobile apps and in-app purchases. Consumers spent $72.3 billion in the Apple App Store in 2020, which Apple claims supports 2.1 million jobs in the US.
What does Apple have to do? Apple’s settlement includes a $100 million Small Developer Assistance fund and important changes to App Store practices in the US.
The bigger picture: Increasing pressure from government regulators at home and abroad, continued pushback from developers, and the high-profile antitrust lawsuit with Epic Games are eroding Apple’s grip on developers.
While the settlement is a win for small iOS developers, it’s limited to the US. But it could trigger regulators in the EU and China to push for similar concessions in other countries.
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