have found The Dutch antitrust watchdog says Apple’s rules requiring software developers to use its in-app payment system are anti-competitive and has ordered it to make changes, in the latest regulatory setback for the iPhone maker.
The App Store’s payment policies, particularly its requirement that app developers exclusively use its payment system with commissions ranging from 15 to 30 percent, have long drawn complaints from developers.
The Dutch investigation into whether the company’s practices amounted to abusing its dominant market position was launched in 2019. But it was later scaled back to focus primarily on market applications for dating.
The investigation included a complaint from Match Group, the owner of the Tinder service, which said Apple’s rules hindered it from direct communications with its customers about payments.
Last month, the Dutch Consumer and Markets Authority notified the US tech giant of its decision, making it the first antitrust regulator to find that the company abused market power in the app store. This is despite the fact that Apple faces challenges in multiple countries.
The Dutch Consumer and Markets Authority did not impose a fine on the company. But she demanded changes to the in-app payment system.
The company argues that its app store rules ensure the security and privacy of its users. AndShe asked the Rotterdam District Court to issue an injunction to prevent publication of the ruling during appeal.
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Apple faces a new regulatory setback
The European Commission launched an investigation in 2020 in parallel with the Dutch investigation. But I focused on whether App Store rules favor company apps when there are competing products.
A US judge last month ordered the company to make it easier for apps to promote alternative payment systems. The plaintiff, Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, filed an appeal, saying the decision was not enough.
South Korea has enacted a law that prevents app store operators from forcing developers to use their official payment systems. Apple and Google are due to respond this month on how to comply.
The company in Japan settled an antitrust investigation. By agreeing to allow some music, video, and e-book apps, notably Netflix, to promote purchase options outside of their apps.
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