Apple Given Fourth Dutch Fine in App Store Dispute

By Reuters
Reuters
Reuters
February 14, 2022 Updated: February 14, 2022

AMSTERDAM—The Dutch antitrust watchdog fined Apple 5 million euros ($5.7 million) on Monday, its fourth such fine for failing to allow software application makers in the Netherlands to use non-Apple payment methods for dating apps on the App Store.

The Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has been levying weekly fines of 5 million euros on Apple since the company missed a Jan. 15 deadline to make changes ordered by the watchdog.

Apple asserts in posts on its websites that it has complied with the ACM’s December ruling that found the company was abusing a dominant market position.

The Dutch watchdog said the company’s apparent concessions put “unnecessary and unreasonable” conditions on dating app developers.

It singled out as problematic a requirement by Apple that the app developers that want to use non-Apple payment methods—which include Tinder owner Match Group—would have to submit a new app to the App Store to do so, and then convince customers to switch.

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

Apple on Jan. 15 first asserted it had complied with the Dutch regulator’s decision. But the regulator responded that the company had not made changes—it had just indicated it would.

On Feb. 3, Apple made a further statement laying out how developers could implement the alternative payment methods.

The ACM said on Feb. 7 it had not been given enough information to assess the changes.

Apple has also said it intends to charge a 27 percent commission on in-app payments it does not process, only slightly below the 30 percent it charges on those it does process.

An ACM spokesperson declined to comment on whether that condition is acceptable.

($1 = 0.8844 euros)

Reuters