Apple to loosen app store payment rules

Apple has responded to an investigation by Japan's anti-trust regulator by agreeing to ease its app store rules.
The tech giant will allow firms that sell content through its apps to effectively bypass commission payments by linking to other purchase methods.

Apple currently charges distributors up to 30 percent of their in-app sales, and restricts them from advertising alternative purchase options.

The decision to loosen this rule is part of a settlement with the Japan Fair Trade Commission, which has responded by ending a 5-year investigation into the firm.

Apple says it will allow distributors to offer a link to their websites, where users can set up an account to purchase content directly.
The company says it will introduce the change globally from early next year.

The 30-percent commission, known as the Apple tax, has been a target of fierce criticism for many years.