Apple would now allow media apps to link to own websites for payment options

Spotify and other technology companies for years have said Apple’s restrictions were unfair and anticompetitive.


As Spotify and other digital companies consistently complained about Apple’s limitations being unfair and anticompetitive, Apple Inc. recently announced that it would now allow media apps to create in-app connections to sign-up pages on its websites as part of a settlement with the Japan Fair Trade Commission. This will apply globally to reader apps which are accessible on Apple’s App Store.

Government has interrogated Apple’s control over third-party software developers who are involved in marketing their digital goods and services through its various patented products. According to Apple the adjustments will come into effect from early next year.

The creator of “Fortnite,” Epic Games Inc has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple in the United States. The company has imposed allegations on Apple for unfairly restricting app distribution through its App Store and forcing payments to be made through its in-app payment mechanism, thereby taking a 30% share. Apple in answer claims that its in-app payment system for keeping users safe.

Apple stated that in-app purchases through its App Store is the safest and most trusted payment options for customers, it also added that it would work with reader app developers to protect users when they link to external websites for purchases.

The adjustments announced on Wednesday are aimed at apps that sell or subscribe to digital publications, newspapers, radio, books, video, and music.

Apple further notified in a statement that as developers of reader apps do not offer in-app digital goods and services for purchase, it agreed with the JFTC to let developers of these apps share a single link to their website to help users set up and manage their account.

Spotify and others would not be able to sell subscriptions via their applications without incurring a fee from Apple despite of the modifications done.

The Japanese commission notified in a statement that Apple’s adjustment “would eliminate the suspected violation of the Antimonopoly Act.” It also said that it would close its investigation once it confirms that modifications are done by Apple.

The practical consequence of Apple’s restrictions on reader apps has confused users for years, as apps have attempted to avoid Apple’s expenses. An iPhone user, for example, can download the Netflix video app after first registering for a membership on the company’s website.

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