The Netherlands no longer wants an App Store monopoly

Apple will have to let developers put in place third-party solutions to bypass the App store.

In recent months, the question of the monopoly of the App Store as a platform for downloads on iPhones has raised questions. Indeed, the apple brand does not allow competition to develop, which simply prohibits the use of another platform, for user safety issues according to Apple.

But this argument is gradually starting to give way in the face of incessant demands and complaints from the competition, which wants to override Apple’s monopoly. The first to launch this war against the App Store is the publisher of the Fortnite video game, Epic Games. The latter indeed proposed in August 2020 a payment solution bypassing Apple’s systems.

A war for control of the app store

But the Apple was quick to respond. It simply excluded Fortnite from its platform, the application no longer following the rules. Since then, the App Store is more fragile than ever, and it is now the States which decide to stand in its way.

A few days ago it was the ACM, the highest competition authority in the Netherlands, which decided to force Apple to offer alternative payments at the application level on the App Store. According to her, the apple brand has violated competition laws and therefore needs to modify its app store to allow the use of alternative payments.

A real blow for the apple brand which has never been forced in this way. Apple must therefore change the rules of its App Store before January 15 if the Cupertino company does not want to have to pay a fine of 50 million euros.

Apple does not want to lose its position

But while the court decision has just been rendered, the actions of the Apple brand are still rather unclear, and no one knows whether the firm will pay its fine, or comply with the new rules. Logically enough, in her statement that followed, she formally criticized the court decision. The apple brand has also announced that it is appealing this decision, hoping to have a second more favorable judgment.

This case is in any case reminiscent of what Apple suffered in South Korea. Without being focused on the exact same facts, the Korean justice also obliged Apple, and Google, authorized third-party payment systems. If Google has already announced that it will comply with the situation and this new rule, Apple has not yet communicated on this subject.

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