The Dutch antitrust watchdog fined Apple €5-million (R85.7-million) on Monday, the fifth such penalty in successive weeks in a row over access to non-Apple payment methods for subscriptions to dating apps.
The Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) says the iPhone maker is abusing a dominant market position by failing to allow software application makers in the Netherlands to use other payment methods for dating apps accessible via its App Store.
The ACM has been levying weekly fines of €5-million since Apple missed a 15 January deadline to make changes that the watchdog had mandated. It said the US company had not made any new proposal to comply with its ruling in the past week.
“We have clearly explained to Apple how they can comply…,” the watchdog said in a statement. “So far, however, they have refused to put forward any serious proposals.” Apple declined to comment.
Apple’s App Store requirement that app developers exclusively use its payment system with commissions of 30% has come under scrutiny in several countries, most recently the US.
In blog posts, Apple indicated it complied with the Dutch ruling by allowing dating app makers there to submit a new app with alternative payment methods enabled.
Apple said it still intends to charge a 27% commission on any in-app payments it does not process, only slightly below the 30% it charges on those it does process.
The ACM has rejected Apple’s moves as putting an unreasonable burden on software developers and not amounting to compliance. Neither Apple nor the ACM have commented on whether any of the weekly fines have been paid, but it is understood that all are still outstanding. — Toby Sterling, (c) 2022 Reuters