Apple is facing renewed pressure to reduce its App Store fees for developers in Europe as one of the European Union’s antitrust authorities has declared that the tech giant’s commissions are in violation of the EU’s rules.
In a long-standing dispute between the Dutch Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) and Apple, officials have now ruled that Apple’s commissions on certain app subscriptions amount to an abuse of the company’s market dominance, reported Bloomberg.
According to a confidential decision obtained by Bloomberg, the Dutch regulator has stated that Apple’s rules unfairly target companies that provide subscription services. Notably, companies like Match Group Inc.’s dating app Tinder have to pay high commission rates on app sales, whereas apps without paid digital content do not face the same fees.
The Dutch decision argues that Apple is harming such companies by imposing an “additional and inexplicably higher fee” on them. This decision was sent in July but has only recently come to light.
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Apple had previously offered to reduce its app sale commission in the Netherlands from 30% to 27%. However, the ACM’s confidential findings have asserted that this offer does not go far enough in addressing the concerns.
This decision has the potential to trigger more extensive antitrust scrutiny within the 27-nation European Union regarding the fairness of Apple’s fee structure for different types of apps. The European Commission in Brussels is already investigating how Apple restricts apps from informing users about cheaper subscription options available outside the App Store.
Apple has not provided a public response to these developments. The company has the option to challenge the ACM’s findings or attempt to address the concerns by restructuring its commission model. Both the ACM and the European Commission in Brussels declined to comment on the matter.
This clash between the Netherlands watchdog and Apple began in 2021 when the former claimed that Apple had violated Dutch competition rules in the dating app market.
Source: Bnn Bloomberg