Apple has settled a class-action lawsuit filed against it by US App Store developers. It has agreed to make some changes to App Store and pay $100 million as a part of the settlement. The company says the changes will “help make the App Store an even better business opportunity for developers” while still keeping the store a safe place to visit and download apps.
As a part of the settlement, Apple will run the App Store Small Business Program with the existing set of rules and regulations for the next three years. Similarly, the App Store Search system will continue to prioritize download count, ratings, and reviews for ranking the results. This search system will also remain in place for at least the next three years.
Apple will allow developers to email and use other forms of communication to inform customers about alternative payment methods outside of the App Store. This will allow developers to bypass the App Store fees and also reach out to their customers directly. To provide greater flexibility to developers in setting prices for their apps, Apple will expand the available price points in the App Store to over 500. Right now, it offers less than 100 options to developers.
Going ahead, Apple will allow developers to appeal against the rejection of their app based on unfair treatment. The company will also add more content to its App Review website to help developers better understand the appeal process.
Based on the demand of the developers, Apple has agreed to create an annual transparency report based on App Store data to highlight and share metrics like the number of apps rejected and removed from the App Store, developer accounts deactivated throughout the year, and more.
As for the $100 million that Apple is paying to settle the lawsuit, it will be distributed between small US developers via the Small Developer Assistance Fund. To be eligible, developers must have earned $1 million or less through the App Store in a calendar year. Depending on their App Store history, they can claim anywhere between $250 and $30,000 from this $100 million fund.
The settlement still needs to be approved by the judge overseeing the case. Once approved, Apple will implement these changes on the App Store.
Several US App Store developers filed a lawsuit against Apple back in 2019 over the various App Store regulations. They highlighted Apple’s 30 percent commission for every transaction, how Apple forces developers to use its own payment system for all transactions, and more.[Via Apple]