Apple fined 5 million euros for third time for defying Netherlands payments order

Dutch authorities are disappointed in the company's "behaviours and actions".
Dutch authorities are disappointed in the company's "behaviours and actions". Photo credit: Getty Images

The Dutch antitrust watchdog has fined Apple 5 million euros ($8.6 million) for a third time for failing to allow software application makers in the Netherlands to use non-Apple payment methods for dating apps listed in the company's App Store.

The Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has been levying weekly fines of 5 million euros on Apple since the company missed a January 15 deadline to make changes ordered by the watchdog.

Apple, which could not immediately be reached for comment, has twice published information on its own blog about changes it is making to comply with the Dutch order.

However, the ACM said on Tuesday, NZ time, it was not receiving enough information from the US company to assess whether Apple was actually complying.

"ACM is disappointed in Apple’s behaviour and actions," it said in a statement. It noted that Dutch courts have upheld its decision, which found that Apple's behaviour violated competition law.

Apple is under pressure in many countries over the commissions it charges on in-app purchases, with the US Senate approving a bill last week that would bar Apple and Alphabet Inc's Google from requiring users to use their payment systems.

Apple on first asserted it had complied with the Dutch regulator's December order on January 15, which covers only dating apps like Tinder. But the regulator responded that Apple hadn't actually yet made the changes - it had just indicated it would.

On February 3, Apple made a further statement on its blog, apparently laying out how developers could now implement the alternative payment methods.

One important footnote was that Apple said it would still charge a 27 percent commission on the in-app payments it does not process, only slightly below the 30 percent it currently charges. The company asserted that was "consistent with the ACM order".

A spokesperson for the ACM said the agency could not comment beyond its public statements on whether a 27 percent commission would be consistent with its order.

Apple is separately appealing the ACM's original December decision, arguing that alternative payment systems pose a security risk to users.

Meanwhile Bloomberg are reporting the Cupertino-based company will likely release it's new iPhone SE 3 in early March along with an updated iPad Air.

According to the website, the iPhone is expected to have an A15 chip inside and 5G connectivity for the first time. It's likely the new iPad Air will also have the A15 chip.

Reuters / Newshub