In yet another blow to tech giant Apple, the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has found that the company’s rules pertaining to the App Store are anti-competitive as it forces software developers to use its in-app payment system.
Apple’s App Store payment policy requires app developers to use its payment system where commissions range between 15 per cent and 30 per cent.
In 2019, the Dutch ACM launched an investigation into whether Apple’s practices amounted to an abuse of a dominant market position. However, the scope was reduced and further focused primarily on dating apps.
The investigation included a complaint from Match Group, the company behind dating apps like Tinder, Match.com, and OK Cupid.
Last month, ACM reportedly notified Apple about its decision, making it the first antitrust regulator to definitively conclude that Apple has abused market power in the app store, reports Reuters.
The ACM has not yet fined the Cupertino tech giant but demanded changes to the in-app payment system. The regulator is expecting to publish its decision this year.
According to the report, Apple has asked the Rotterdam District Court for an injunction to block the publication of the ruling during its appeal. Consequently, a court spokesperson confirmed the existence of the case to block publication.
Apple – Epic Games battle
Last month, the California District Court instructed Apple to make it easier for consumers to purchase Epic Games apps through other alternate payment methods instead of Apple Pay.
Apple and Epic Games have been engaged in a legal battle since last year after the latter sued Apple for what it termed it’s ‘anti-competitive’ and ‘monopolistic’ practices.
Apple largely emerged as the winner of the case after United States District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers handed a 185-page ruling on the lawsuit. The judge said Epic failed to prove any antitrust violations, but asked Apple not to prohibit app developers from redirecting users to alternate payment methods from December 9.
“We will fight on”, Epic chief executive Tim Sweeney tweeted as the company confirmed its plan to contest the verdict.