Apple's In-App Purchase Rules Are Anti-Competitive, Rules Dutch Antitrust Watchdog

Apple's in-app purchase requirements are anti-competitive, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has decided, reports Reuters. The ACM has ordered Apple to make changes to the rules that force developers to use in-app payment options.

app store blue banner
The Dutch antitrust watchdog has been investigating Apple since 2019, and while the probe started out as a look into whether Apple's App Store practices are an abuse of dominant market position, it was scaled back to focus on dating apps.

Tinder owner Match Group said that Apple's in-app purchase were preventing it from directly communicating with customers about payments.

The ACM told Apple about its decision on in-app purchases last month, and it was the first antitrust regulator to decide that Apple has abused its market power in the ‌App Store‌. Apple has not been fined, but the ACM wants it to make changes to in-app purchase rules.

A final decision on the matter is under legal review and it will be published laster this year.

In related news from Japanese site Nikkei, Japan's Fair Trade Commission is launching an investigation into whether Apple and Google are leveraging their dominance in the smartphone OS market to eliminate competition and limit options for consumers.

The Japanese FTC will conduct interviews and surveys with OS operators, app developers, and smartphone users, and will aim to create a report outlining OS market structure and the reasons why competition "has remained static."

Apple is facing similar antitrust investigations and legal issues in multiple countries, including the United States. Sweeping antitrust legislation has been introduced, and earlier this year, the Epic v. Apple case resulted in a ruling requiring Apple to allow developers to include "external links or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to In-App Purchasing." Apple will need to implement these rules starting in December.

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Top Rated Comments

turbineseaplane Avatar
36 months ago
The walls are closing in.
Get out in front of all of this Apple and make changes --- before you're forced to

(changes forced by regulation won't be ones Apple will like)
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
genovelle Avatar
36 months ago

Good. Apple needs to stop including Safari with MacOS and iOS as well.
Please stop attempting to make those of us that HATE GOOGLE have to deal with unnecessary changes to our ecosystem.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
_Spinn_ Avatar
36 months ago
If I wanted Android I would have bought Android. Don’t make iOS like Android.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
blazerunner Avatar
36 months ago
Judge is right, Apple is anti-competitive.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vasilenko93 Avatar
36 months ago
My biggest issue with Apple services is that they are not available everywhere. For example Apple Pay is great, but I cannot use it on my Desktop which is Windows. When buying games on Steam I use PayPal as that has all my cards and linked to my bank account and I use it to send money to some people. What's cool is many sites have the option to pay with PayPal which saves me time as PayPal also has my address. I would prefer to use it.

Than when I bought an iPhone I was forced to give Apple my card information just to sign up for some service on an App. Why!? I already have PayPal installed and signed in, why couldn't I use that!? But okay, lets fully set up Apple Pay as its better and secure...except that's useless to me as I almost never make in app purchase and I cannot use Apple Pay on my Desktop.

This is also why I don't use KeyChain. Sure its better integrated with my phone...but 1Password works on my Desktop and work laptop while KeyChain does not. If Apple ever forces everyone to use KeyChain I will throw my iPhone at the wall.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
brandnewshmoney Avatar
36 months ago
Even Hitler couldn't survive a war on two fronts. How many fronts is Tim Apple currently fighting on? Unconditional Surrender is inevitable!
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)