App marketplace will be level-playing when restrictive practices are removed: ADIF

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The Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) has said the app marketplace can be deemed as a “true level playing field” that allows for innovation to thrive, when restrictive practices are done away with. ADIF, which represents a group of Indian digital startups, has also welcomed Apple‘s recent update in rules for developers. Following the update by Apple, app developers will now be allowed to highlight alternative purchasing options outside apps and also communicate more directly with customers.

“This comes as a major victory for the developer and startup community which have been vocal against the restrictive and anti-competitive practices of the two big tech majors through their AppStore/PlayStore policies. Having said that, practices that restrict app developers with their product and user experience choices still persist,” ADIF Executive Director Sijo Kuruvilla George said.

For instance, Apple has still not relented on allowing alternative payment systems to be embedded directly in their apps, he explained.

“It is crucial now to ensure that the efforts towards making the app economy a fair marketplace are sustained. It is only when all such restrictive practices are also done away with that the app marketplace can be deemed a true level playing field that allows for innovation to thrive,” he said.

In the past too, Apple and Google have drawn severe criticism from the developer community over steep commissions and restrictive practices.

ADIF said the Cupertino-based company has “deleted the contentious clause (3.1.3) which was being used by Apple to maintain a stronghold on the developers in order to make them cough up hefty commissions”.

“The changes announced to the AppStore guidelines have put an end to the company’s restrictive and anti-competitive practice of blocking developers from communicating with their own customers and directing them to other payment options of their choice,”it added.

The fact that Apple has relented, is the result of the concerted and collective actions of various stakeholders of the app ecosystem, it added.

Founded in 2020, ADIF (Alliance of Digital India Foundation) is a think tank for India’s digital startups. Its members include Paytm, GOQii, MapMyIndia,Matrimony.com, TrulyMadly and others.

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