Apple would rather pay up to €50m in fines than tackle behavior of App Store ‘gatekeeper’, says EU chief

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Apple would rather pay a maximum of 50 million euros in fines than address concerns raised by the Dutch competition authority over developer access to third-party payment methods on the App Store, the official said of EU digital policy, Margrethe Vestager.

During a keynote on the digital economy and privacy (via Tech Crunch), Vestager said that Apple “essentially prefers to pay periodic fines, rather than comply with a decision of the Dutch Competition Authority on the terms of third-party access” to the ‌App Store‌.

Effective enforcement, which implies that the Commission has sufficient resources to do so, will be essential to ensure compliance. Some goalies may be tempted to stall or try to circumvent the rules. Apple’s conduct in the Netherlands these days may be an example of this. From what we understand, Apple essentially prefers to pay periodic fines, rather than comply with a decision of the Dutch Competition Authority on the conditions for third-party access to its App Store. And it will also be one of the obligations included in the DMA.

Last month, in line with a decision by the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), Apple announced that it would allow dating apps on the Dutch ‌App Store‌ to use third-party payment methods for in-app purchases. . To do this, developers are forced to maintain two separate application binaries, one for their Dutch customers and one for customers elsewhere.

Additionally, Apple says it will earn a 27% commission on all purchases made with third-party payment methods, 3% less than the typical 30% cut the company takes when developers use the system. App Store in-app purchase. Apple’s 27% commission is on top of developers paying for a third-party payment processing platform and any fees associated with that process.

Shortly after Apple announced its plan, the authority said it would investigate the changes and determine whether or not Apple complied with the ruling.

The agency ultimately deemed that Apple’s plans were not enough to address its concerns about the App Store. Therefore, the authority said it will fine Apple €5 million per week up to a maximum of €50 million until it complies. Apple has so far been fined five times, which equates to a total of 25 million euros.

Apple has “refused to make serious proposals,” the ACM said. The ACM added that Apple’s behavior is “regrettable” and it “clearly explained to Apple how they can comply with the ACM’s requirements.” Apple’s announced plans create “too many hurdles for dating app providers to use their own payment systems,” and it must “set reasonable terms for the use of its services,” it said. ACM continued.

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