Apple Faces $56.6 Million Fine in the Netherlands for Breaking Competition Laws

Everyone from fellow tech companies to entire governments has accused Apple of engaging in anticompetitive behaviour this year, and it doesn’t look like the Cupertino-based tech giant will be able to close out 2021 without making the headlines for anticompetitive practices one last time.

According to Reuters, Apple has been ordered to make certain changes to its App Store payment policies by the Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) — the Netherlands’ foremost competition regulator, after it was found to have broken Dutch competition laws.

Failure to comply with the regulator’s demands in the mandated timeframe could result in a fine of up to $56.6 million USD ($72.52 million CAD) for the iPhone maker.

A barrage of anticompetition probes and investigations into Apple’s App Store practices have resulted in the company allowing app developers to inform users of third-party payment methods outside of apps instead of being tied down to Apple’s payment processing.

However, Apple and its legion of lawyers earlier this month succeeded in delaying court-mandated changes to App Store policies that would have let developers directly link to and advertise third-party payment solutions in their apps.

Apple’s policies have put the company under immense scrutiny this year, with the entire world taking a keen interest in chipping away at the fences of the walled garden that is the App Store.

Back in August, South Korea passed a new law forcing both Apple and Google to open up their respective app distribution platforms to third-party payment systems.