Apple has been fined $1.06 million by France’s Paris Commercial Court, reports Reuters.The court found that Apple has imposed what it deems to be abusive commercial clauses on French app developers in exchange for access to the App Store.
Although this fine represents only a tiny proportion of Apple’s $2.1 trillion market value, it also represents the growing pressure the company is facing from courts worldwide to change its app store practices.
The company recently announced that it will allow the use of alternative app stores in the EU, bringing it into compliance with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and opening the doors for app developers to utilise alternative app stores, circumventing the 30 percent fee charged by Apple on any transactions made on the app store. Due to this compliance, the company isn’t required to make any additional changes to its policies.
A spokesman for Apple stated that the company would review the ruling and believes in “vibrant and competitive markets where innovation can flourish.”
“Through the app store, we’ve helped French developers of all sizes share their passion and creativity with users around the world while creating a secure and trusted place for customers.”
Are Apple anticompetitive?
Despite its claims to the contrary, Apple has long faced criticism for anticompetitive behaviour, and has faced similar fines in other territories regarding its actions, and how they negatively impact other companies. Apple has long asserted that allowing alternative app stores would represent a security risk, which has been disputed by industry experts including Six to Start founder Adrian Hon, who stated that the infrastructure that allows Apple to confirm app safety isn’t unique to the company. Meanwhile familiar complaints range from the company routinely allowing apps to break App Store rules to assertions that app updates aren’t investigated as thoroughly as would be ideal.