The Netherlands’ competition authority has once again increased a fine levied against Apple for failing to comply with an antitrust order related to payment tech and dating apps.
The fifth penalty payment of €5 million issued today means the tech giant is now on the hook for €25M (out of a possible total of €50M) — and stands accused of continuing to throw up barriers rather than offer solutions by a very exasperated-sounding regulator.
In a statement the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), said:
“In the past week, we did not receive any new proposals from Apple with which they would comply with ACM’s requirements. That is why Apple will have to pay a fifth penalty payment. That means that the total amount of all penalty payments currently stands at 25 million euros.
“We have clearly explained to Apple how they can comply with ACM’s requirements. So far, however, they have refused to put forward any serious proposals. We find Apple’s attitude regrettable, especially so since ACM’s requirements were upheld in court on December 24. Apple’s so-called ‘solutions’ continue to create too many barriers for dating-app providers that wish to use their own payment systems.
“We have established that Apple is a company with a dominant position. That comes with extra responsibilities vis-à-vis its buyers and, more broadly, society at large. Apple must set reasonable conditions for the use of its services. In that context, it cannot abuse its dominant position. Apple’s conditions will thus have to take into account the interests of buyers.”
A spokesperson for the regulator confirmed that Apple hasn’t offered any new proposals since last week’s were found to be “unreasonable“.
“We expect Apple to comply with the order,” they added. “If they fail to do so, we have the opportunity to impose another order subject to periodic penalty payments.”
Apple was contacted for a response to the latest fine from the ACM but the company’s comms department has been keeping its powder dry in recent weeks as the fines and accusations have ticked up.
The tussle between a…