Dutch regulator rejects Apple’s objections to App Store fines

Dutch competition watchdog ACM on Monday said it had rejected objections made by Apple to fines of 50 million euros ($53 million) it levied over failure to comply with orders to limit the dominant position of Apple’s App Store.

App Store


The ACM said Apple has complied with most of its demands to open its App Store to alternative forms of payment for dating apps in the Netherlands, but had not met an undisclosed third element of the conditions related to the fines.

The ACM in 2021 ruled that Apple violated Dutch competition laws in the dating app market and required Apple to allow developers of dating apps to use third-party payment processors.

It fined Apple 5 million euros per week, eventually reaching 50 million euros during the period it failed to comply.

Apple objected to these fines, saying that the regulator had incorrectly defined relevant markets and had overestimated the dominance of Apple’s position in the dating app market.

The regulator rejected all of Apple’s objections in a decision dated July 13, 2023, which was published on Monday.

MacDailyNews Note: “We disagree with the ACM’s original order, which degrades investment incentives and is not in the best interests of our users’ privacy or data security,” Apple said in statement. “As the ACM has denied our administrative appeal, we will appeal to the Netherlands courts.”

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  1. This is an ongoing assault targeting successful BIG Businesses by Leftist socialist countries across the pond. It’s all about free money through the courts under the guise and holy name of anti-competitive practices — an ILLUSION at best…

      1. The “leftist” and “socialist” bits are uncalled for, but one does have to ask how these fines are fair.  Apple built a platform with a certain set of rules for those who want to develop apps on it.  This combination of platforms and rules turned out to be very successful for both the app developers on the platform and the consumer.  But then some of those developers no longer wanted to abide by the rules – because one of them involved paying Apple 30% and they no longer wanted to pay Apple that much.  Naturally, they complained to their local regulators saying that Apple should allow other app stores – not really because it’s to the benefit of the consumers who bought into the platform and its rules – but to themselves.  The regulators, pandering to their local business constituents,  couched Apple’s rules in vague, never-explained anti-competitive terms.

        The argument that Apple is a monopolist who is abusing its monopolistic position is ridiculous – Apple has never increased prices (actually decreased them for some) and has never made its policies more strict then when it first set them.  Besides, for there to be a monopoly, there has to be a market in which the participant (Apple) became the monopolist.  What market are we talking about here?  The App Store “market”?  For there to be a market, there have to be at least two participants – obviously that’s not the case here.  There’s always just been one App Store.

        Governments around the world – not just Europe – are simply pandering to their respective local business constituents and are rewriting the rules Apple must abide by.  It’s corrupt as corrupt can be.

        1. I would tend to agree with you if the App Store only had Apple sourced Apps. The moment they allowed 3rd parties to develop apps it became a market. As the only source of iOS Apps that would deny entry beyond security considerations, it runs into becoming a censor for ethical or political reasons. This encourages vendors and users to request/demand an alternative to allow those apps that are otherwise secure as the App Store is in effect a monopoly for iOS users.

        2. Legitimate questions. Here’s what Apple doesn’t own… the devices and the 3rd party apps. They own the rules which encroach on other’s property and are anticompetitive.

          Imagine if MS forbade iTunes in the 00s. Obviously they couldn’t.

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