The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) stated that Apple’s App Store’s commission system violated EU competition rules. Apple may be forced to lower its commission rate in the future.
In fact, Apple and ACM have previously clashed over commission issues, with ACM calling the commission “unfair.”
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In June 2022, Apple and the ACM reached an agreement regarding dating apps, but that did not close the case. After Apple was fined 50 million euros, it proposed to reduce the commission from 30% to 27%, but ACM now believes that this compensation is not enough.
According to the Dutch ruling in July, Apple harmed developers “by charging them inexplicably high additional fees.” Dutch authorities believe Apple’s commissions from developers constitute an abuse of power.
The decision is likely to push for tighter antitrust scrutiny in the 27-nation European Union over the fairness of Apple’s different app charging structures. Currently, the European Commission is already investigating how Apple restricts apps from telling users that cheaper subscription services are available outside the App Store.
Dutch regulators said that Apple’s regulations are unfair to companies that provide subscription services (such as video memberships, which are more expensive on iOS than Android), such as Tinder. These companies must pay Apple a commission of up to 30%. Listed on the App Store.
Foreign media believe that ACM’s investigation of Apple may signal that the EU will launch a broader antitrust investigation. If Apple’s charging ratio is ultimately determined to be too high, Apple may be forced to adjust its charging structure. Of course, Apple can also take proactive measures, such as lowering rates now, but this is very unlikely.
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