Apple to halve App Store fee for smaller developers

Chief executive Tim Cook said the move will ‘help small business owners write the next chapter of creativity and prosperity'.

Apple has announced plans to reduce App Store fees which it charges smaller software developers from next year.

The firm’s long-standing commission rate of 30% will be halved to 15% for small businesses which earn less than one million dollars per year in sales generated through the store.

Apple said the “vast majority” of developers who sell digital goods and services via the App Store will be able to benefit from its new App Store Small Business Program, which launches on January 1 2021.

It comes amid tensions about the fees that Apple charged from the likes of Spotify, Microsoft and Fortnite maker Epic Games in recent years.

In June, the EU Commission opened anti-trust investigations into Apple’s App Store and its Apple Pay platform over concerns they stifle competition.

Software developers who fall below the one million dollar threshold will be eligible once the programme starts next year but if their earnings jump above the limit, Apple will reapply its standard 30% rate for the remainder of the year.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook said: “Small businesses are the backbone of our global economy and the beating heart of innovation and opportunity in communities around the world.

“We’re launching this program to help small business owners write the next chapter of creativity and prosperity on the App Store, and to build the kind of quality apps our customers love.

“The App Store has been an engine of economic growth like none other, creating millions of new jobs and a pathway to entrepreneurship accessible to anyone with a great idea.

“Our new program carries that progress forward — helping developers fund their small businesses, take risks on new ideas, expand their teams, and continue to make apps that enrich people’s lives.”

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