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Apple Inc. will allow developers of some apps to link from their software to external websites for payments by users, addressing a longstanding App Store complaint and settling an investigation by Japan’s Fair Trade Commission.

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant said the change will go into effect globally early next year for so-called reader apps spanning magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music and video. To date, Apple has forced such applications to use its in-app purchase system, which gives Apple up to a 30% commission on downloads and in-app subscriptions. By pointing users to the web to sign up, creators of those apps can sidestep that fee.

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