Dutch regulator accuses Apple of breaking competition rules with in-app purchases : Report

THE HAGUE - Apple was likely ordered by the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) to make changes to its policies about apps distributed by the American tech giant's App Store platform. The American company obligates software developers to use Apple's in-app payment system violating competition rules, and was told its policy, sources close to the matter told the Reuters news agency.

The sources said Apple asked the Rotterdam District Court to block publication of the ACM ruling while it tries to appeal the decision.

A spokesperson for the ACM would not comment on the matter. The court has not issued a ruling about publicizing the ACM decision.

Apple has been under fire for quite some time about its payment policy regarding the App Store. Businesses complain about Apple's requirement that app developers only use Apple's payment system, with commissions ranging between 15 and 30 percent.

The Dutch watchdog launched its investigation in 2019 to determine if Apple is guilty of abusing its dominant market position. The ACM later narrowed the scope of the investigation. The regulator mainly focused on apps for the dating market. Match Group, the parent company of the popular app Tinder, is one of the complainants. Apple's rules prevent the company from communicating directly with its customers about payments.

According to Reuters, the ACM informed the American technology conglomerate of its decision last month. This makes the ACM the first regulator to establish that the company abuses its market position with its App Store, although Apple has been sued in several countries. The ACM did not impose a fine on Apple, but did demand adjustments to the in-app payment system, according to the sources.


An Apple spokesperson was not immediately available for comment. The company apparently asked the court in Rotterdam to block the publication of the ruling. It is not known when a verdict will follow. The procedure is not open to the press or the public.

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