Dutch Watchdog Rules Apple App Store Violated Payment Rules

The Netherlands antitrust authority has found that Apple’s rules requiring software developers to use its in-app payment system are anti-competitive and ordered it to make changes, reported Reuters.

Apple’s app-store payment policies, in particular its requirement that app developers exclusively use its payment system where commissions range between 15% and 30%, have long drawn complaints from developers.

The Dutch investigation into whether Apple’s practices amounted to an abuse of a dominant market position was launched in 2019 but later reduced in scope to focus primarily on dating market apps.

They included a complaint from Match Group, owner of the popular dating service Tinder, which claimed that Apple’s rules were hindering it from direct communications with its customers about payments.

The Netherlands’ Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) last month informed the US technology giant of its decision, making it the first antitrust regulator to make a finding the company has abused market power in the app store, though Apple is facing challenges in multiple countries.

Related: Match Asks Dutch Watchdog To Reveal Apple Antitrust Decision

The ACM has not levied a fine against Apple, but demanded changes to the in-app payment system, the people said. The decision has not been seen by Reuters.

An ACM spokesperson declined to comment, saying that the matter is currently under legal review. The regulator has previously said it expects to publish its decision this year.

Apple was not immediately available to comment. The company argues its app store rules ensure security and privacy for its users.

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