On Friday, the Netherlands’ top competition regulator ruled Apple had violated the country’s competition rules and ordered the iPhone manufacturer to amend its App Store payment practices.
Apple’s practice of mandating app developers to utilize its in-app payment system and pay commissions ranging from 15% to 30% on digital goods transactions has been criticized by authorities and legislators all over the world.
In 2019, the Netherlands’ Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) initiated an inquiry about whether Apple’s practices amounted to a violation of a dominant market position. However, it was eventually narrowed in scope to target just dating apps, including Tinder’s parent company Match Group.
“We disagree with the order issued by the ACM and have filed an appeal,” Apple said in a statement. It added that “Apple does not have a dominant position in the market for software distribution in the Netherlands, has invested tremendous resources helping developers of dating apps reach customers and thrive on the App Store.”
The ACM considered Apple’s methods anti-competitive and demanded adjustments, according to Reuters, although the judgement was not made public until Friday.
Apple was found to have broken competition regulations, according to the regulator’s judgement. It has ordered Apple to change the unfair circumstances that apply to dating-app suppliers in its App Store.
Match Group said in an email statement, “We applaud the ruling issued today by a Rotterdam Court affirming the ACM’s decision that Apple’s forced use of its in-app payment systems and other practices violate Dutch and EU competition law, and must be eliminated by January 15th.”
Apple must now enable dating-app developers to utilize alternate payment mechanisms, according to the ruling. If the firm does not comply, it might face a punishment of up to EUR 50 million (approximately Rs. 425 crores).
According to a statement, Apple has until January 15 to execute the adjustments.
Apple’s regulatory loss in the Netherlands comes after the iPhone manufacturer lost a legal battle in South Korea to overturn legislation requiring large app platform providers, such as Apple and Alphabet’s Google, to enable developers to utilize third-party payment systems.
Apple is required to adjust its in-app payment rules and other business practices that developers have criticized as Apple is facing legislation in the European Union and the United States.