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Dutch watchdog says Apple’s App Store broke competition law


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The silhouette of a mobile user is seen next to the onscreen projection of the Apple logo in this illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / File Photo

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(Reuters) – The Netherlands’ top competition regulator on Friday said Apple Inc (NASDAQ:) violated the country’s competition laws and ordered a change to the maker’s App Store payment policy. export iPhone.

Apple’s requirement for app developers to use its in-app payment system and pay commissions of 15% to 30% on digital goods purchases has been criticized by regulators and lawmakers. closely monitored around the world.

An investigation by the Dutch Consumer and Markets Authority (ACM) into whether Apple’s practices led to the abuse of a dominant market position was launched in 2019. But later that has reduced its scope to focus mainly on apps in the dating market, including Tinder owners Match Group Inc (NASDAQ:).

“We disagree with the ACM’s order and have filed an appeal,” Apple said in a statement. It added that “Apple, without a dominant position in the software distribution market in the Netherlands, has invested enormous resources to help dating app developers reach customers and thrive on the App.” Store.”

Reuters reported in October that the ACM had discovered Apple’s anticompetitive practices and ordered the change, but the decision was not announced until Friday.

The regulator’s decision said Apple had violated competition law. It ordered Apple to regulate unreasonable conditions in its App Store that apply to dating app providers.

The decision requires Apple to allow dating app providers to use alternative payment systems. The company faces fines of up to 50 million euros ($56.6 million) if it doesn’t comply.

A statement said Apple has been given until January 15 to implement the changes.

“We welcome the ruling issued today by the Court of Rotterdam confirming ACM’s decision that Apple’s forced use of its in-app payment system and other activities violates Dutch competition law. and EU and must be phased out by January 15,” the Match group said in an email report.

The disclosure of Apple’s regulatory hurdles in the Netherlands comes after the iPhone maker lost a battle in South Korea to block a law requiring major app platform providers such as Apple and Alphabet (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc of Google allows developers to use third party payment services.

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

Apple is facing proposed legislation in the European Union and the United States that would force Apple to change its policies on in-app payments and other business practices opposed by developers.

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