In the apology, published in the Australian Financial Review on Friday, Rowe said: "In communications on 24 and 26 July, I suggested that auDA and certain of its officers and staff engaged in criminal cartel conduct in relation to recent applications for auDA membership.
"I had no basis for making these allegations. I hereby retract the allegations and apologise to auDA and its officers, staff and members for any offence, harm or damage caused by the allegations."
A statement issued by auDA chair Chris Leptos said the apology had been accepted.
"However, Rowe stepped over the line of civil debate that is at the heart of the multi-stakeholder model."
auDA has gone through some internal turmoil over the past few months, with some members seeking to throw out three directors. Their bid failed at a special general meeting held on 27 July.
In June, one member, Jim Stewart, the chief executive of StewArt Media, called for a motion of no-confidence in chief executive Cameron Boardman and the sacking of directors Leptos, Suzanne Ewart and Sandra Hook.
The board is in the process of attempting to meet the demands of a Federal Government review issued in April that found its management framework was no longer fit for purpose. A new framework has been proposed and has to be put in place by April 2020, as per the government's demands.