App StoreSource: Joe Keller / iMore

What you need to know

  • The EU has introduced new regulations to protect developers.
  • They will help defend developers from storefronts like the App Store.
  • Measures include a 30 day notice period for the banning of apps.

New EU measures seeking to defend developers and publishers from storefronts came into force this week, in a move that the EU hopes will help restore some balance in the relationship between app developers, publishers and storefronts.

As reported by MCV/DEVELOP:

New EU regulation came into play at the start of the week that applies to digital storefronts, most notably Apple and Google's for mobile devices. With the new regulations significantly strengthen the rights of those selling through such marketplaces.

New measures include a mandatory 30 day notice period storefronts must give to publishers and developers before removing content from stores, giving the creator time to either dispute the decision or make changes accordingly.

The regulations will also reportedly force platforms like the App Store and Google Play to be more transparent with their ranking systems, for example how they choose "trending apps." Stores will also have to dislose "differential treatment" given to one party over another, the information will also have to be disclosed in "plain and intelligible language."

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The new regulations will mostly not cover console stores or subscription services, which act more like digital retailers. As noted by the EGDF's Jari-Pekka Kaleva, these platforms "enter into direct transactional relationsh with players", and don't fall under the new regulations as "online intermediation services" which handle transactions between the developers/publihers and players.

As Steve Troughton-Smith notes, these new regulations will have ramifications in the EU App Store, not only regarding 30 days notice and disclosure of preferential treatment, but also the fact that disputes that can't be resolved by Apple's App Review will have to be settled by an external mediator.

Apple has fallen foul of two formal antitrust investigations launched by the EU in recent weeks.

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