Dutch regulators probe App Store for anticompetitive policies


App Store
Customers spent more than $322 million in the App Store on New Year’s Day 2019 alone.
Photo: Apple

Dutch regulators are investigating complaints by developers that Apple promotes its own apps over others in the App Store.

News of the anti-trust probe comes on the heels of Spotify filing a formal antitrust complaint with the European Union.

The Netherlands’ Authority for Consumers & Markets will determine whether Apple exercises unfair practices with its own App Store, according to Bloomberg, which broke the story early today.

Apple makes the devices and controls the app ecosystem, which some developers complain gives the iPhone maker leverage with its own platforms, like Apple Music and Apple News.

Among the biggest complaints involves Apple taking 30 percent on sales of in-app purchases in the first year. App developers for Dutch news outlets say they struggle to get traction because of Apple News.

Apple could not be reached for comment for the Bloomberg story.

Charges of an App Store monopoly is nothing new for Apple. In addition to Spotify’s complaint in the EU, a similar antitrust lawsuit appears headed for the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Dutch probe will also include Google because of similar complaints developers have with Google’s Play Store, according to Bloombergreported

“App providers say they do not always have a fair chance against Apple’s own apps or against apps that Google has pre-installed on phones,” the ACM said in the Bloomberg report. “These problems, together with the indications submitted by app providers, are sufficient reason for ACM to launch an investigation into Apple’s behavior,”

The Dutch authority also asked developers to submit any complaints they may have with the Apple Store or Play Store.

Source: Bloomberg


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.