Following the investigation launched in 2019, the Netherlands’ Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) found that Apple has been abusing its market power by forcing devs to use its in-app payment system. The authority, however, has not yet published its decision, which is currently under legal review.
The antitrust authority did not impose any fines on Apple, but requested that the company change its app store rules. The decision was actually made in September, but Reuters only learned about it today from the people familiar with the matter.
Thus, ACM became the first antitrust watchdog to definitively conclude that Apple has abused its market power.
According to Reuters’ sources, Apple asked the Rotterdam District Court for an injunction to block the publication of the ruling while the iPhone maker attempts to appeal it, which a court representative confirmed. The proceedings are not open to the press or public.
The situation around Apple’s payment policies has changed dramatically since September, with U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers having issued a permanent injunction that compels Apple to allow independent payment systems. In fact, today revenue platform Paddle announced a new in-app purchasing system for iOS, which will charge 10% on transactions under $10 and 5% on transactions over $10. A bold move that Apple can still block.
In any case, the California court failed to “ultimately conclude that Apple is a monopolist,” even if Gonzalez Rogers admitted it was not impossible. Now it looks like the Netherlands might be where Apple’s next big legal fight will be.