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Dutch authority slaps hefty fine on Apple for the fourth time

Dutch authority slaps hefty fine on Apple for the fourth time
Photo Credit: Pixabay
15 Feb, 2022
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The Dutch Consumer and Markets Authority (ACM) has imposed a fine of €5 million (over $5.6 million) on Apple for the fourth time for failing to comply with alternative payment system requirements for dating apps in the Netherlands. With the latest fine imposition, the tech giant’s total fine, including earlier penalties for failing to comply with the regulator’s order, stands at €20 million. 

ACM in an official statement said that the adjusted conditions that Apple sets for dating app providers are unreasonable and create an unnecessary barrier. The new terms state that if they want to use an alternative payment system, dating app providers will have to create a brand new app from scratch. Apple has informed the ACM about this. App providers cannot modify their existing apps. 

The ACM had hauled up Apple last year in this matter and have even asked the iPhone maker to update their payment mechanism policy that restricts app developers from offering any other payment system other than Apple’s. Even though the American multinational tech company had responded to the watchdog’s order and is said to have made some changes, the agency was of the firm view that the company has failed to satisfy the requirements on several points and has created several barriers for app providers from using alternative billing systems. 

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ACM had earlier said that it will continue to fine Apple €5 million per week until the total fine amounts to €50 million or the company complies with all ACM requirements.  

“ACM believes that this is an unreasonable condition that conflicts with the requirements set by ACM. The ACM is of the opinion that Apple still does not meet the requirements of the ACM at this time,” the statement further added. 

Apple’s policy of restricting app providers from using third party payment is considered anti-competitive by regulators in several countries, including India. It may be recalled that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) had initiated a probe into Apple’s App Store business model, in December 2021.

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