Apple's App Store policies now allow US developers to link to external payments.
Apple continues to retain its 27 percent, even if users purchase digital goods and services from a website linked by an app.
Apple has updated its App Store policies to specify how developers can link to external payment platforms, as reported by 9to5Mac. Developers will still be required to pay a percentage to Apple if they use an external payment platform. Apple will take a 27 percent cut (down from 30 percent in many cases) or a 12 percent cut if a developer is part of the App Store's small business program, according to a support page regarding external purchase links.
Section 3.1.1(a) of the App Store Review Guidelines sets additional rules for developers wishing to link to alternative payment methods, such as the requirement to request a "right" to enable them. Developers cannot exclusively receive payments outside of Apple's walled garden; they must also offer Apple's in-app purchase system in their apps.
These updates follow the Supreme Court's decision not to review Apple and Epic's appeals in the Epic Games v. Apple dispute, which forced Apple to relax its anti-steering rules.
Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic, is not satisfied with Apple's policy updates. He calls the 27 percent fee "anticompetitive," criticizes Apple's rules on how links appear and function, and highlights what he calls the "warning screen" that users will see when leaving an app to go to an external website.
He asserts that Epic will "challenge Apple's bad-faith compliance scheme in court." Apple has also detailed how it is following the decision in a new court filing, and Natalie Munoz, a spokesperson for Epic, says, "We intend to challenge Apple's compliance notice in the District Court."