Dutch market authority threatens Apple with 50 million euro fine

Get a free Techzine subscription!

The Dutch Consumer & Market Authority (ACM) threatens to slap Apple with a 50 million euro fine. According to the ACM, Apple abuses app providers by imposing unfair charges.

The ACM claims that Apple mistreats developers. The authority will impose a maximum fine of 50 million euros if Apple does not change its policy within two months.

Why?

If you currently offer an app on the App Store, you pay $99 per year. Company size is irrelevant. Amazon remits the same amount as an independent developer.

Anyone offering paid services within the app is required to pay an additional 15 percent per year. According to Apple, the fees are to compensate for the payment system that is provided. According to the ACM, the fees are disproportionate to the payment system. Moreover, Apple does not offer a choice. Everyone pays for a system determined by Apple.

The ACM reports that only 15 percent of app providers offer paid services and pay additional fees. A significant part of the group consists of dating app providers. They’re forced to distribute their service through the Play Store and App Store. According to the authority, that dependence is abused by Apple.

The ACM gives Apple two months to adjust its conditions. If Apple does not comply, the ACM will issue a penalty of 5 million euros per week. The penalty increases until the total amount reaches 50 million euros, or Apple changes the terms.