Apple and other US tech giants may prefer fines to compliance: Margrethe Vestager, EU antitrust chief

Deepak Gupta February 24, 2022
Updated 2022/02/24 at 7:20 AM

Some US tech giants may prefer to pay a fine rather than comply with antitrust rules, the EU’s antitrust chief said, citing Apple’s fight with the Dutch competition authority as an example.

The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) imposed a €5 million (approximately Rs. 40 crore) fine on Apple on Monday, the fifth such fine in successive weeks, linked to allegations that Apple allows access to non-Apple payments. methods for dating app subscriptions.

European Commission vice president and chief digital officer Margrethe Vestager said Apple’s behavior could indicate that other large companies behaved similarly.

“Some guardians may be tempted to stall for time or try to bend the rules,” she said in an online speech at an awards ceremony in the United States on Tuesday.

“Apple’s conduct in the Netherlands these days can be an example. As we understand, Apple essentially prefers to pay periodic fines rather than complying with a Dutch Competition Authority ruling on terms and conditions for third parties to access its App Store. “

Contacted by Reuters, Apple referred to a February 3 blog postwhich said it is necessary to make the mandatory changes to comply with its legal obligations in the Netherlands, helping to protect users from increasing risks.

Vestager has proposed landmark rules called the Digital Markets Act, which target Alphabet’s Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft and could take effect next year.

One of its requirements would be for Apple to allow third parties to access its App Store. Apple’s App Store condition that app developers exclusively use its 30% commission payment system is under scrutiny in several countries, most recently in the United States.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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