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Apple Prefers Fines vs Compliance, Claims EU Competition Regulator

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The European Union’s head of digital policy believes Apple would rather continue to pay fines than accept new App Store regulation.

The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) handed the tech giant a €5 million fine this week, after Apple was accused of limiting access for non-Apple payment methods on subscriptions to dating apps.

This marks the fifth occasion that the firm has been served with a hefty penalty, reads a new TechCrunch report.

Now, the European Union’s head of digital policy, EVP Margrethe Vestager, said the company’s behaviour is an example of how “gatekeepers” try to circumvent the rules.

“Apple’s conduct in the Netherlands these days may be an example. As we understand it, Apple essentially prefers paying periodic fines, rather than comply with a decision of the Dutch Competition Authority on the terms and conditions for third parties to access its App Store.”

It comes as Vestager gears up for introducing landmark rules called the Digital Markets Act, which is set to impact Silicon Valley’s immense control of the online space. It is due to come into effect next year.

Vestager noted that there are several bills already progressing through Congress and the Senate that share many of the same proposals the EU is making. “This is very encouraging because it means there is a great degree of global consensus,” she said.

“The impact of our digital legislation will depend as much on what happens outside the EU’s borders, as within.”

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