The regulations also don’t require Apple to allow third-party app stores or so-called sideloading of software. And the company doesn’t have to further reduce its revenue share. The deal will require the approval of Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who is overseeing this trial. She is also a judge in Apple’s lawsuit with Epic Games Inc., which also challenged the policies of the App Store. It’s unclear whether this settlement will affect his opinion in this higher-stakes lawsuit with the maker of Fortnite.
“This offering does nothing to address the structural and fundamental issues facing all developers, large and small, undermining innovation and competition in the application ecosystem,” wrote Meghan DiMuzio, executive director of the Coalition for Washington-based Fairness App. “Allowing developers to communicate with their customers on lower prices outside of their apps is no concession and demonstrates Apple’s total control in the app market. “
Apple’s app store practices have come under increasing scrutiny in recent months, with critics claiming the tech giant is too dominant in the industry. US Senators have complained about the “custody control” Apple and Google have with their mobile operating systems and have taken the companies to Congressional hearings. And South Korea is in balance to become the first country to impose restrictions on enterprise application markets.
With Thursday’s deal, Apple said it would keep recent changes to the App Store search engine for the next three years. “At the request of the developers, Apple agreed that its search results will continue to be based on objective characteristics such as downloads, ratings, text relevance and user behavior signals,” Apple said.
The Cupertino, Calif.-Based company is also increasing the number of price points developers can offer from under 100 to over 500, and it will release an annual App Store transparency report.
This report “will share significant statistics on the application review process, including the number of applications rejected for different reasons, the number of deactivated client and developer accounts, objective data regarding queries and search results and the number of apps deleted from the App Store. According to Apple. And the company plans to detail more information about its application review process on its website.