Europe has passed new regulations aimed at safeguarding the App Store developer’s interest. The App Store developers will be protected by the new rules and are expected to bring in a higher level of transparency.
As per the new regulations, developers need to be informed 30-days before the app is removed from the App Store. Furthermore, Apple should compulsorily disclose “any preferential treatment it gives to big developers & publishers.” The regulations also mandate an “external mediator” when it comes to disagreements that are beyond the scope of App Review.
Apple has come under the scrutiny of regulators for giving preferential treatment to its app and services. Furthermore, Google is paying Apple billions to be the default search engine, and even this deal has garnered the attention of regulators. As mentioned earlier, Apple needs to indicate if it is giving preferential treatment to specific developers or third-party services.
Developers are upset with Apple mandating in-app purchases. Apple rejected the Hey email app from the app store as it didn’t offer In-App purchases. The App Store review is governed by Apple guidelines and mandates using the in-app purchase option. This way, Apple will retain a specific part of revenue before passing it on the developers. Recently, the company altered the App Review process and allowed developers to challenge guidelines. Apple has also assured that it will not delay routine bug fixes.
The new regulations specify the platform’s standard terms and conditions should be easy to understand. Any changes to the terms and conditions should be conveyed at least 15 days beforehand. Hopefully, the new regulations will encourage Apple to create more efficient internal mechanisms for handling disputes. In the meantime, the developers will be informed previously if their app/game will be removed from the App Store. Unlike before, Apple will have to furnish the exact reason for removing the app from the App Store.