Pretend to be shocked: Apple has been slapped with another fine of five million euros by the Authority for Consumers and Markets in the Netherlands. This comes after the Dutch watchdog took issue with Apple’s proposed plans for third-party App Store payments, and Apple has not yet addressed the regulator’s concerns.
The ACM is holding true to its plans to charge Apple a five million euro fine every week after Apple missed a January 15 deadline to address antitrust concerns around the App Store. This marks the third weekly fine so far, each one equal to five million euros or roughly $5.72 million, as reported by Reuters.
The regulatory pressure in the Netherlands centers on dating applications in the App Store. The Dutch watchdog ordered Apple to allow developers of dating applications in the Netherlands to use alternative payment systems. While Apple announced its plans to comply with these demands, the ACM didn’t find Apple’s announcement to be satisfactory.
Since the ACM ruled that Apple’s plans for third-party App Store payments are insufficient, Apple hasn’t directly addressed the concerns. The company did, however, reveal more details about its planned implementation, including that it would charge a 27% commission on purchase made using alternative payment systems.
When asked by Reuters, a spokesperson for the ACM said the agency “could not comment beyond its public statements on whether a 27% commission would be consistent with its order.”
“ACM is disappointed in Apple’s behaviour and actions,” it said in a statement. It noted that Dutch courts have upheld its decision, which found that Apple’s behaviour violated competition law.
The ACM will fine Apple for a maximum of 10 weeks, for a total fine of 50 million euros. It’s unclear what its next steps would be, but this does give Apple around seven more weeks to address the ACM’s concerns. The ACM has said that Apple must actually launch the option for developers of dating applications in the Netherlands to use alternative payment systems in order to be in compliance with the ruling.
The ACM has also taken issue with Apple’s plans to force developers to choose between linking to an external payment system or using an alternative in-app payment system. Regulators say that Apple must allow developers to do both of these things, not just one.
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