The Most Complete Analysis of Apple’s Implementation of the DMA Rules

Apple’s Plans for the DMA in the European Union

Apple recently unveiled the changes they are making to comply with the Digital Markets Act, the law identified Apple’s as a “gatekeeper” on iOS, Safari, and the App Store. The obligations to gatekeepers comes into effect on March 6, 2024.

John Gruber did the homework of analyzing the multitude of changes that Apple is implementing to comply.

It’s not a simple solution, but it does show that Apple is going about this in a way that allows them to maintain as much control over their platforms as they think they can, including what they have called the Core Technology Fee (CTF) which charges €0.5 per-install after the first million installs, ensuring thus that even in the worst of cases Apple is still able to get value out of very successful applications.

This new setup would give developers 3 basic options:

  1. Stay within the walls of the App Store as it is today.
  2. Adopt the new DMA compliance rules, but pay the CFT if applicable. This option spawns 2 scenarios which developers can opt into at the same time:
    1. Stay in the App Store but paying lowered commission to Apple.
    2. Sell your applications in a separate app marketplace, with no further fees paid to Apple.

There’s a lot more complexity than this of course, the article lays it all out very clearly but not succinctly (he tried).

We’ll have to see what the EU says, as these changes must be found compliant before they can be implemented:

The delicious irony in Apple’s not knowing if these massive, complicated proposals will be deemed DMA-compliant is that their dealings with the European Commission sound exactly like App Store developers’ dealings with Apple. Do all the work to build it first, and only _then_find out if it passes muster with largely inscrutable rules interpreted by faceless bureaucrats.