The European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Apple's Response: A Guide for App Developers

In a landmark shift for digital market regulation, the European Union has enacted the Digital Markets Act (DMA), a comprehensive set of rules designed to promote fair competition and curb the monopolistic practices of large tech companies. This move has significant implications for app developers, particularly in light of Apple's recent announcement detailing how they plan to comply with these regulations.

Understanding the EU's Digital Markets Act

At its core, the DMA aims to level the playing field in the digital sector. Key provisions include:

  1. Open Ecosystems: Tech giants are required to open up their platforms, allowing third parties to interoperate with their services.
  2. Alternative App Stores: The DMA mandates that users should have the freedom to download apps from sources other than the official app store of the operating system.
  3. Choice and Transparency: Companies must offer more transparency in their operations and provide users with more choices regarding default services.

Apple's Implementation of the DMA

Apple's response to the DMA reflects a strategic adaptation to these new regulations:

  1. Alternative App Distribution and Payment Processing: Apple will allow developers to distribute their apps through alternative app marketplaces and use different payment processing services. This change breaks the monopoly of the App Store and could potentially reduce costs for developers.
  2. Reduced Commission and New Fee Structure: Apple has proposed a reduced commission rate for apps on the App Store, coupled with a new fee structure that includes a "Core Technology Fee" for apps distributed outside the App Store.
  3. Notarization and Security Measures: To maintain the security of the iOS ecosystem, Apple introduces notarization for all apps, ensuring a baseline review for platform integrity.

Strategic Considerations for App Developers

App developers must now evaluate several factors:

  1. Market Reach vs. Development Effort: While new marketplaces offer greater visibility, the development cost and effort associated with adapting to different platforms and payment methods cannot be overlooked.
  2. Business Model Reassessment: The viability of transitioning to new models depends on the app's revenue mechanism. For instance, apps reliant on ad revenue or subscription models may face different implications under the new fee structure.
  3. Size and Scale Considerations: The impact of the core technology fee varies based on the app's size and number of installs. Large-scale apps may find the new fee structure more burdensome, requiring a careful cost-benefit analysis.
  4. Compliance and Security Measures: Adhering to Apple's security and privacy standards, such as App Tracking Transparency (ATT) and SKAdNetwork (SKAN), remains crucial, especially when venturing into new marketplaces.


Apple's adaptation to the EU DMA represents a significant shift in the digital app marketplace. For developers, this means new opportunities and challenges in distributing and monetizing their apps. As the landscape evolves, staying informed and adaptable will be key to leveraging these changes for business growth and success.

For more insights and updates on digital marketing trends and strategies, keep following Z2A Digital.

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