Apple prefers to continue paying fines than fixing the App Store | Vestager

Apple prefers to continue to pay the fines imposed by the Dutch authorities instead of fixing the conditions of the App Store: this is the conclusion reached by Margrethe Vestager, the head of digital policies of the European Union, in relation to the issue of dating apps that we have been following for some time. Vestager says Apple’s behavior could be an example of how some actors might try to twist the rules or buy time, and that the Commission needs to make sure it has enough resources to make sure the rules are adhered to properly, without discounts or shortcuts. .

For those who missed the previous episodes: the Dutch Antitrust is angry with Apple because of the (for a change) App Store policies, especially when it comes to fees and restrictions on in-app payments. The rules are those by now known to all: obligation to go through Apple’s systems in such a way that it can withhold 30% (it drops to 15% in particular situations) on each transaction. These rules are the same for all third-party developers, with just a few more unique than rare exceptions, but for some reason the Dutch authorities believe that dating apps, such as Tinder or Bumble, should have less onerous terms.

Apple proposed a solution, but it was not approved because it was deemed too complicated for developers and irrelevant from the point of view of economic benefits. In essence, developers should make and maintain a special version of the app (“a Dutch Edition”, if you like) that allows the user to choose alternative payment methods, but Apple would still withhold commissions – as much as 27%, against 30% of the integrated system. We add third party service fees, and it is very likely that developers would end up paying even more than before.

And so we arrived at the sanction. The law provides for a $ 5 million fine every week until Apple comes up with a better solution, but with a maximum limit of 10 weeks. To be honest, you can’t really blame Apple, a company that has a capitalization of over $ 2.5 trillion each quarter, bills well over $ 100 billion each quarter, for the decision to pay $ 50 million “one-time” and close the matter there. . For now, the Apple has reached halfway; it remains to be understood what will happen in the end.