Netherlands reportedly finds Apple app store rules to be anticompetitive

A Dutch antitrust authority has been looking into Apple’s policy of excluding all other payment systems and seems to have decided it needs changing.

The scoop comes courtesy of Reuters, which says it has spoken to no less than four anonymous sources who reckon they know a thing or two about the matter. The report says the Netherlands’ Authority for Consumers and Markets has notified Apple of its decision that the company abuses its market power by forcing app developers to use its payment platform, thus allowing it to charge hefty commissions.

Apparently there is no fine, at least not yet, and the matter is still under legal review following an Apple appeal. It seems Apple has also asked for an injunction blocking publication of the ruling while the appeal plays out, which may have been what motivated these leakers to speak to Reuters, which hasn’t seen the ruling. Some changes have been demanded of Apple, but they’re presumably being appealed too.

Apple’s app store policies around payments are under scrutiny all over the world. It’s legions of lawyers manage the odd victory but it’s easy to see a time in the not-too-distant future when it’s going to have to allow payment platform competition. Once such candidate may be Paddle, which reckons the Epic verdict has already opened the door for it. As well as charging much less than Apple it claims a bunch of other benefits and it will be interesting to see how Apple tries to fend it off.

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