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Dutch Watchdog Determines Apple’s App Store Payment Policy is Anti-Competitive

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The Dutch antitrust authority has determined that Apple’s App Store payment policy is anti-competitive. The authoritative body has ordered the iPhone maker to make changes to its policy.

Apple has been criticized in the past for exclusively requiring that third-party publishers and developers pay a commission rate of 30% in order to be allowed on the App Store. Commission rates can go as low as 15% but that’s based on the annual figures of the publisher. According to Reuters, the Dutch antitrust authority first launched an investigation on the matter in 2019 and hoped to make a case on Apple’s practices.

Over time, the Dutch investigation altered its scope and decided to primarily focus on the dating app market existing within Apple’s ecosystem. The complaint involves Match Group, the owners of Tinder, who claim Apple’s App Store policy restricts direct communications with its customers about payments.

The Netherlands’ Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has informed Apple about its decision to pursue changes. Rather than seek to fine the iPhone maker, ACM is looking to see meaningful changes made in regards to the in-app payment system, sources told Reuters. ACM will be the first antitrust body to make a conclusive finding of its position of power over the App Store.

At the time of writing, neither ACM, Match Group, nor Apple has made a statement regarding the matter. A court spokesperson has confirmed the existence of the case but did not state when a decision on the matter can be expected.

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