Apple simplifies payment rules for apps such as Netflix, Spotify

San Francisco: Apple has announced that the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) has agreed to close its App Store investigation in exchange for letting developers of reader apps Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon’s Kindle app directly link their customers to their own sign-up website, where they could skirt Apple’s in-app payment system entirely.

While the agreement was made with the JFTC, Apple will apply this change globally to all reader apps on the store. Reader apps provide previously purchased content or content subscriptions for digital magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video.

Apple said it is making easier for people to set up and manage their apps and services, “while protecting their privacy and maintaining their trust”.

“Trust on the App Store is everything to us. The focus of the App Store is always to create a safe and secure experience for users, while helping them find and use great apps on the devices they love,” Phil Schiller, Apple Fellow who oversees the App Store, said in a statement.

Before the change goes into effect in early 2022, Apple will update its guidelines and review process to make sure users of reader apps continue to have a safe experience on the App Store.

This update follows a number of changes to the App Store announced last week, which give developers more flexibility and resources to reach their customers, tailor their price points, and grow their businesses.

Apple also launched the News Partner Program to support local journalism and help news organisations on the App Store.

The South Korean parliament on Tuesday passed a bill that would rein in the dominance Google and Apple exert over payments on their respective app stores. It became the first nation in the world to enact such a law.