App Store payments are anti-competitive rules Dutch antitrust authority

Demanded changes to in-app payment system following investigation

App Store payments are anti-competitive rules Dutch antitrust authority

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has found Apple’s in-app payment system to be anti-competitive following an investigation into the company’s store policies.

As reported by Reuters, the Dutch antitrust authority first launched an investigation into Apple’s marketplace position in 2019, however, this was later curtailed to focus on dating apps.

The investigation included a complaint from Match Group, owner of multiple dating outlets including Tinder and Hinge.

The dating conglomerate claimed that Apple’s anti-competitive policies inhibited direct communications with its consumers regarding payments.

Last month, The ACM notified Apple of its investigation findings and has instructed the Silicon Valley tech firm to alter its in-app payment system. It is worth noting that The ACM has not issued a fine against Apple.

In-app payment alterations

A court spokesperson confirmed the existence of the case to Reuters but was not able to disclose when a decision is expected.

The ACM, Apple and Match Group all declined to comment. The case is currently under legal review and is not currently available to the press or public

Apple has requested that the Rotterdam District Court impose an injunction to block a publication of the ruling during the company’s appeal.

The investigation and subsequent court case are the latest in legal proceedings against Apple, with parties citing anti-competitive practices within its App Store.

Last month, Apple was dealt a permanent injunction from a Californian court, ordering pricing transparency, following a long-running legal battle with Epic Games.

From December 9th, Apple will no longer be able to prevent developers from including external links that direct users to payment systems outside of Apple’s control, which circumvent its 30 per cent cut.

In August, Apple made several clarifications surrounding payments which provided developers with more flexibility to highlight non-App Store payment methods, including expanding the number of price points in the App Store from less than 100 to over 500.

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