Apple receives fourth fine in Dutch App Store dispute

Deepak Gupta February 15, 2022
Updated 2022/02/15 at 10:34 AM

The Dutch antitrust agency fined Apple €5 million (approximately Rs. 42 crore) again on Monday, its fourth fine for not allowing software app makers in the Netherlands to use non-Apple payment methods for apps. dating on the App Store.

The Consumers and Markets Authority (ACM) has been charging Apple weekly fines of €5 million (approximately Rs. 42 crore) since the company missed the January 15 deadline to make changes ordered by the watchdog.

Apple’s app store payment policies, in particular the requirement that app developers exclusively use Apple’s payment system with commissions of up to 30%, have come under scrutiny by antitrust authorities and lawmakers in several countries, most recently in the United States.

Apple claims in postings on its websites that it complied with the December order from the ACM, which found it was abusing a dominant market position and had to change.

But the Dutch watchdog repeated on Monday that Apple had failed to comply and was placing “unnecessary and unreasonable” conditions on dating app developers.

The ACM highlighted a requirement that developers who want to use non-Apple payment methods must submit a new app to the App Store to do so, and then convince their customers to switch.

Apple, which says non-Apple payment methods pose a security risk, did not respond to requests for comment.

The Coalition for App Fairness (CAF), which represents developers including Match Group, which owns Tinder, said Apple’s strategy is to delay the renovation of its app store as long as possible and find out the minimum amount of renovation that authorities can take. antitrust will accept.

“Each year of delay is another $25 billion (approximately Rs. 1,88,625 crore) in revenue” for Apple, said CAF representative Damien Geradin. “Wouldn’t you spend a few million on lawyers if you could go on for a few more years?”

Apple said on January 15 that it complied with the Dutch regulator’s decision, but the regulator responded that the company had not made any changes and only said it would.

In a February 3 statement, Apple had outlined how developers could implement alternative payment methods, but ACM said the company had not provided enough information to assess what had changed.

Apple says it still intends to charge a 27% commission on any in-app payments it doesn’t process, just shy of the 30% it charges those it does process.

An ACM spokesperson declined to comment on whether this is acceptable.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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