Apple’s app store violated competition laws, Dutch watchdog says

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The main Dutch competition regulator said on Friday that Apple had violated the country’s competition laws and ordered changes to the payment policies of the iPhone manufacturer’s App Store.

Apple’s practice of forcing app developers to use its in-built payment system and pay 15-30% commissions on digital goods purchases has come under intense scrutiny from industry leaders. regulators and legislators around the world.

An investigation by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) to determine whether Apple’s practices constituted an abuse of a dominant position in the market was launched in 2019. But its scope was later narrowed down to focus mainly on dating market apps including the owner of Tinder. Match group.

“We do not agree with the order issued by the ACM and have filed an appeal,” Apple said in a statement. He added that “Apple does not have a dominant position in the software distribution market in the Netherlands, has invested huge resources in helping dating app developers reach out to customers and thrive on the App Store “.

Reuters reported in October that the ACM found Apple’s practices anti-competitive and ordered changes, but the decision was not released until Friday.

The regulator’s decision said Apple had violated competition laws. He ordered Apple to adjust its unreasonable App Store terms that apply to dating app providers.

The ruling orders Apple to allow dating app providers to use alternative payment systems. The company faces a fine of up to 50 million euros (approximately Rs. 425 crore) if it does not comply.

Apple had until Jan. 15 to implement the changes, according to a statement.

“We applaud today’s Rotterdam court ruling upholding ACM’s ruling that Apple’s forced use of its integrated payment systems and other practices violates Dutch and EU competition law and must be eliminated by January 15, “the Match group said in a statement. e-mail declaration.

Disclosure of Apple’s regulatory setback in the Netherlands comes after the iPhone maker lost a fight in South Korea to stop a law that requires major app platform providers like Apple and Alphabet to allow developers to use third-party payment services.

Google has indicated that it will allow such payments, although it will still charge a commission on them. Apple has not commented on its Korea compliance plans.

Apple is facing proposed legislation in the European Union and the United States that would require it to change its in-app payment policies and other business practices challenged by developers.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


This week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, we discuss the iPhone 13, the new iPad and iPad mini, and the Apple Watch Series 7 – and what they mean for the Indian market. Orbital is available on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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