Apple’s app store requirements are increasingly coming under attack: The Dutch competition authority Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) considers the group’s requirements for using its own in-app payment interface to be anti-competitive, like the news agency Reuters reported on Thursday citing informed people.
Complaint from Tinder provider Match Group
Regulators have been investigating the App Store for two years and, according to the report, most recently focused on the dating apps market – following a complaint from Match Group, which offers several well-known dating apps, including Tinder. Match has already criticized Apple publicly several times for the 30 percent commission – they pay almost half a billion US dollars in commission to Apple every year, which is the company’s largest single cost item.
The ACM announced its decision to Apple last month and has not imposed a penalty so far. But she calls for changes to Apple’s in-app purchase specifications, how Reuters reported. Apple is currently trying to block the publication of the decision by means of an injunction, apparently an objection procedure is still pending. It remains open for the time being which changes the competition authority demands in detail.
Regulators vs. App Store
Apps that sell digital content have to use Apple’s in-app payment interface, so Apple automatically withholds up to 30 percent commission. The developers and app providers have so far been prohibited from referring customers to external purchase options in the app. Apple is already softening this requirement after the intervention of other regulatory authorities and the verdict in the Epic vs. Apple case in the USA.
Apple’s compulsion to use its in-app purchase interface and the ban on linking to external subscription options, also in the opinion of the EU Commission, distort competition – at least with regard to the music streaming market, in which Apple itself is present as a provider .