AMSTERDAM: The Dutch antitrust watchdog fined Apple €5 million (US$5.7 million) on Monday (Feb 14), its fourth such fine for failing to allow software application makers in the Netherlands to use non-Apple payment methods for dating apps on the App Store.
The Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has been levying weekly fines of €5 million on Apple since the company missed a Jan 15 deadline to make changes ordered by the watchdog.
Apple asserts in posts on its websites that it has complied with the ACM’s December ruling that found the company was abusing a dominant market position.
The Dutch watchdog said the company’s apparent concessions put “unnecessary and unreasonable” conditions on dating app developers.
It singled out as problematic a requirement by Apple that the app developers that want to use non-Apple payment methods – which include Tinder owner Match Group – would have to submit a new app to the App Store to do so, and then convince customers to switch.
Apple, which says non-Apple payment methods pose a security risk to customers, did not respond to requests for comment.
Apple on Jan 15 first asserted it had complied with the Dutch regulator’s decision. But the regulator responded that the company had not made changes – it had just indicated it would.
On Feb 3, Apple made a further statement laying out how developers could implement the alternative payment methods.
The ACM said Feb 7 it had not been given enough information to assess the changes.
Apple has also said it intends to charge a 27 per cent commission on in-app payments it does not process, only slightly below the 30 per cent it charges on those it does process.
An ACM spokesperson declined to comment on whether that condition is acceptable.