Apple down another $5.7 million for refusing to abide by App Store rules

Apple down another $5.7 million for refusing to abide by App Store rules


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Apple just won't comply with the ACM.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple was today fined yet another $5.7 million, its fifth so far, for an ongoing refusal to abide by new App Store regulation in the Netherlands.

Regulators last year ruled that dating app developers should be able to accept third-party payments. But as far as the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) is concerned, Apple has “refused to put forward any serious proposals.”

Apple still not complying with Dutch regulators

Apple won’t see it like that. Cupertino has taken some (half-hearted) steps to accommodate new rules, which do give dating app developers the opportunity to accept alternative payment systems if they want to. But it’s not easy.

Developers must build brand-new apps that offer third-party payment options exclusively; they cannot also accept App Store payments. And they are still required to cough up a 27% cut of all sales to Apple.

The ACM last week said that’s not good enough, and as things stand, Apple is yet to submit a more appropriate proposal. The ACM told Reuters that it has “clearly explained to Apple how they can comply.” But it hasn’t happened yet.

“The ACM has rejected Apple’s moves as putting an unreasonable burden on software developers and not amounting to compliance,” the report added.

What if Apple won’t back down?

The ACM has confirmed that it could fine Apple for up to 10 weeks for a total of €50 million (approx. $57 million). But it’s not totally clear what happens after that if Apple simply refuses to back down and fully comply with the new rules.

As it stands, it seems as though a €50 million fine will be the only punishment. Perhaps Cupertino has already accepted that and doesn’t see a need to adjust its proposal. After all, that’s a pretty insignificant sum to Apple.

But it seems somewhat unbelievable that the ACM would just leave it at that.


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