Apple App Store Changes Being Studied by Dutch Antitrust Watchdog to Check Compliance With Order

The Dutch antitrust watchdog on Monday said it is studying whether a new round of changes Apple has announced to its App Store terms and conditions in the Netherlands will bring it into compliance with national law.

The Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has been levying weekly fines of EUR 5 million (roughly Rs. 42 crore) on Apple since January 24, saying the company had failed to open its app store to allow dating app providers in the Netherlands to use alternative payment methods.

Apple is under pressure in many countries over the commissions it charges on in-app purchases, with the US Senate approving a bill on Thursday that would bar Apple and Google from requiring users to use their payment systems.

Apple on January 15 asserted it had complied with the Dutch regulator’s December order covering only dating apps like Match Group’s Tinder, but the regulator responded that Apple hadn’t actually yet made changes – it had just indicated it would.

On February 3, Apple made a further statement on its blog, apparently laying out how developers could now implement the alternative payment methods.

One important footnote was that Apple said it would still charge a 27 percent commission on in-app payments it does not process, only slightly below the 30 percent it currently charges. The company said that is “consistent with the ACM order”.

A spokesperson for the ACM said the agency was studying Apple’s changes and would respond soon.

Apple is separately appealing the ACM’s original December decision, arguing that alternative payment systems pose a security risk to users.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


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