Apple has said it will allow developers to distribute their apps directly to EU customers from their websites, marking another regulatory concession from the iPhone maker as it seeks to protect the dominance of its App Store.

The changes were announced to comply with the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) which required ‘gatekeeper’ companies to comply by 6 March 2024.

EU regulators are looking to create a level playing field for smaller rivals as they crack down on the market dominance of companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, Meta and Microsoft.

Apple’s changes could negatively affect its profit margin, which has long been bolstered by its policy of forcing developers to distribute apps through its App Store with a 30% fee.

In a statement on Apple’s website, the company wrote: “To reflect the DMA’s changes, users in the EU can install apps from alternative app marketplaces in iOS 17.4 and later. Users will be able to download an alternative marketplace app from the marketplace developer’s website.”

However, developers are not getting away completely free. Apple has announced what it describes as a ‘core technology fee’ of 50 euro cents per user account annually, even if developers choose to work away from its App Store and payment system.

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Developers will also be able to control the in-app promotion design when directing users to a transaction, a step that was long dominated by Apple’s template.

Pressure from the DMA also caused Apple to take another hit in its long-running battle with Epic Games this week, allowing the Fortnite maker to put its own game store on iPhones and iPads in Europe.