Apple to allow alternative app stores in Europe

Beyond its new policy allowing game streaming apps worldwide, Apple today announced new changes it is making to comply with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act, most notably that it will allow alternative app payments and app stores.

For its part, Apple continued to show reluctance to comply with the DMA, repeating concerns that the measures will make its platforms more vulnerable to privacy and security threats.

“Within the DMA’s constraints, Apple is committed to protecting the privacy, security, and quality of the iOS user experience in the EU as much as possible,” the company said.

The changes will go into effect in March.

While Apple is also opening up the platform for alternative payment processing in the US, it is taking a 27% commission on all such transactions.

In Europe, Apple is allowing developers to continue using their existing business terms or switch to new terms that allow alternative distribution and payment processing. Those terms will see Apple take a commission of up to 17% on transactions for digital goods and services, with the option to use the App Store’s payment processing for an additional 3% fee.

Additionally, the new terms will see Apple charge a “core technology fee” of €0.50 for each install per year after the first million. The fee will apply to apps regardless of whether they are distributed through Apple or an alternative marketplace.

Epic founder Tim Sweeney was quick to weigh in on the company’s new policy on social media, calling it “a devious new instance of malicious compliance.”

“They are forcing developers to choose between App Store exclusivity and the store terms, which will be illegal under DMA, or accept a new also-illegal anticompetitive scheme rife with new Junk Fees on downloads and new Apple taxes on payments they don’t process,” Sweeney said.

Nevertheless, Epic has said Fortnite will be returning to Apple devices this year, distributed through the new Epic Games Store for iOS.

“Stay tuned for details as we figure out the regulatory timeline,” an Epic representative told “We’ll continue to argue to the courts and regulators that Apple is breaking the law.”