This country accuses Apple of breaking the law, orders change in App Store payment policy

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Apple’s practice of charging 15 to 30 percent commission from app developers in exchange for using its in-app payment system has come under scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers around the world. Now the Netherlands’ top competition regulator has said that Apple has broken the country’s competition laws. Apple has been ordered to change its ‘App Store Payment’ policies. According to a Reuters report, an investigation into this matter was started in 2019 by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). An investigation was conducted into whether Apple’s practices constituted market abuse. However, this investigation was later limited to focus on dating apps that are linked to the App Store and use in-app payment systems. This also includes Tinder’s owner match group.

Apple said in a statement that it disagrees with ACM’s order and has filed an appeal. It says that Apple is not the market leader for software distribution in the Netherlands. Apple has said it has invested significant resources into helping developers of dating apps reach customers and grow on the App Store. Reuters reported in October that the ACM had found Apple’s practices anti-competitive.

The regulator’s decision states that Apple has violated competition laws. Apple has been ordered to fix unfair App Store terms that it applies to dating-app providers.

Apple has also been ordered to allow dating app providers to use alternative payment systems. If the company does not comply with the orders, it may face a fine of up to 50 million euros (approximately Rs 425 crore). Apple has been given time till January 15 to implement the changes.

In this matter, Match Group says that we appreciate the decision of the Rotterdam Court, which confirms the decision of ACM. Says Apple’s forced use of the in-app payment system and other practices violate Dutch and EU competition laws. It should be finished by 15th January.

Apple has received this big blow from the top regulator of Netherlands at a time when the company has also lost a case related to banning a law in South Korea. In South Korea, major app platform providers like Apple and Google will have to allow their developers to use third-party payment services.

Google has indicated that it will allow third party payment services, although will still charge commission. Apple has not said anything about its plans regarding South Korea.

Apple is also facing proposed legislation in the European Union and the US. This law will force the app to change its in-app payment policy and other things.

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