The Dutch competition watchdog, ACM, announced on Monday that it had dismissed Apple’s objections to fines totaling 50 million euros ($53 million) imposed on the tech giant.
These fines were issued due to Apple’s failure to comply with orders aimed at reducing the dominant position of its App Store.
According to the ACM, Apple had mostly complied with its directives to allow alternative payment methods for dating apps in the Netherlands.
However, there was an undisclosed third element of the conditions related to the fines that Apple had not met.
In 2021, the ACM had determined that Apple had violated Dutch competition laws in the dating app market. As a remedy, Apple was instructed to permit dating app developers to utilize third-party payment processors.
The ACM imposed fines of 5 million euros per week, which eventually reached a total of 50 million euros during the period when Apple failed to adhere to the orders.
Apple contested these fines, asserting that the regulator had inaccurately defined the relevant markets and had exaggerated Apple’s dominance in the dating app sector.
The regulator, in a decision dated July 13, 2023, and made public on Monday, rejected all of Apple’s objections.
In response, Apple expressed its disagreement with the ACM’s initial order, claiming that it undermines investment incentives and is not in the best interests of user privacy or data security.
Apple further announced its intention to appeal the decision to the Netherlands courts.
The ACM has indicated that if it prevails in court, it will disclose the still-undisclosed portion of the proceedings to which Apple had objected.
This ongoing legal dispute highlights the growing scrutiny and regulatory challenges that major tech companies like Apple face in various jurisdictions as they navigate issues related to market dominance and competition.