Apple must make changes to in-app payment requirement, Dutch antitrust agency says

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in General Discussion
Amsterdam legislators have declared that Apple requiring developers to use its in-app payment service in the App Store is anti-competitive, and changes must be made.




The declaration comes two years after an examination started. Initially, it was a wider examination, but along the way it was cut down and focused mainly on dating market apps, spawned by a complaint from Match.com's parent group.

According to a report from Reuters on Thursday, The Netherlands' Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) told Apple of its decision in September. Reportedly, there is no fine associated with the behavior, but Apple must make changes to the in-app payment service.

The investigation focus was on the in-app payment system and how Apple charges commissions of between 15% and 30%. Speaking at the start of the investigation in 2019, then-ACM board member Henk Don said that the authority had received multiple complaints.

"To a large degree, app providers depend on Apple and Google for offering apps to users," Don said. "ACM has received indications from app providers, which seem to indicate that Apple abuses its position in the App Store. That is why ACM sees sufficient reason for launching a follow-up investigation, on the basis of competition law."

ACM declined to comment on the matter to Reuters, but did say that the ruling was under "legal review."

The decision follows South Korea's law enacted to prevent similar behavior by App Store holders.

It also follows Judge Gonzales' ruling in the Epic vs. Apple case, where she stopped short of mandating third-party payment processors in-app. Instead, she ruled that developers could steer users to external payment methods. It remains to be seen how Apple will implement this, as it has until late December to do so.

The same Dutch authorities have launched an antitrust investigation into technology firms which limit access to NFC services in phones. Apple was not named in the initial description of this investigation, but it appears to follow criticism of how the company refuses to allow competitors access to its Apple Pay system.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    bshankbshank Posts: 225member
    No surprise that Europe’s wants special treatment for its developers. European exceptionalism is on the rise
    magman1979williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 56
    hriw-annon@xs4all.nl[email protected] Posts: 45unconfirmed, member
    Things are going to get messier for developers.
    The regulators are not going to demand Apple provides its services for free.
    So, if Apple can no longer charge for use of their service by making it part of payments, they wil charge developers another way.
    Make them pay more for the developer license, pay per app submission, pay per download, etc. 
    They could have a free tier for small developers. 
    But this would mean that developers would have to submit accounting of their business to prove they are in fact small developers. 
    sdw2001freeassociate2magman1979jas99watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 56
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,890member
    Where this headed is that more and more apps will be free to download with a subscription managed totally out-of-band by the app developer. This is exactly how Microsoft Office 365 (and other subscription based apps) works today and it’s really not a big deal.

    From a consumer perspective it just means that you’re having to deal with a separate payment system for all of these out-of-band subscriptions and you’re handing out your personal and financial information to many more people. In other words, consumers are taking on more complexity, inconvenience, and privacy/security risk so that App developers can skim a little more profit from you. Yes, they can be nice and pass along some of their savings to you, but they don’t have to. They can charge whatever they want and with addictive games the sky is the limit.

    In the end, these out-of-band app subscription payment services aren’t screwing Apple nearly as much as they are screwing their customers. 
    mike1urashidmark fearingfreeassociate2StrangeDaysmagman1979AppleUfmyIolsjas99watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 56
    There will be no more FREE Apps. Someone is going to have to pay for the infrastructure that provides developers a storefront where their Apps can be discovered. 

    There is no such thing as a free lunch. 
    mark fearingmagman1979olsjas99watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 56
    hriw-annon@xs4all.nl[email protected] Posts: 45unconfirmed, member
    jayweiss said:
    There will be no more FREE Apps. Someone is going to have to pay for the infrastructure that provides developers a storefront where their Apps can be discovered. 

    There is no such thing as a free lunch. 
    Doubtful. Free apps are a big part of what makes the AppStore appealing. 
    If these will have to start paying many will just leave and users will have to use their website.
    Then even more developers will not think it worth the trouble, and money, to be on the AppStore.
    This downward spiral might force Apple's take to go below break-even.
    Then what?
    williamlondonelijahg
  • Reply 6 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,252member

    It may be a while before the details of the ruling are published. Apple has asked the Rotterdam District Court for an injunction to block the publication of the ruling during its appeal.

    A court spokesman confirms there is a current case to block publication, but did not know when a decision is expected to be made. The court proceedings are closed to the press and the public at Apple's request.

    elijahg
  • Reply 7 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,252member
    bshank said:
    No surprise that Europe’s wants special treatment for its developers. European exceptionalism is on the rise
    It's not just the EU involved. The investigations into Apple's (and Google's) mobile OS practices have being coming in from around the world. Japan just this week has announced the fourth antitrust investigation involving Apple, and this one could have the biggest repercussions of all. It's looking into possible monopoly positions held by the two big techs.

    Before anyone jumps in with "Apple can't have a monopoly since Android has the majority share of the market" note that in the only relevant market, that of Japan, iOS holds a 70% controlling share with a 30% minority going to Android. 
    edited October 7 fotoformatelijahg
  • Reply 8 of 56
    dewme said:
    Where this headed is that more and more apps will be free to download with a subscription managed totally out-of-band by the app developer. This is exactly how Microsoft Office 365 (and other subscription based apps) works today and it’s really not a big deal.

    From a consumer perspective it just means that you’re having to deal with a separate payment system for all of these out-of-band subscriptions and you’re handing out your personal and financial information to many more people. In other words, consumers are taking on more complexity, inconvenience, and privacy/security risk so that App developers can skim a little more profit from you. Yes, they can be nice and pass along some of their savings to you, but they don’t have to. They can charge whatever they want and with addictive games the sky is the limit.

    In the end, these out-of-band app subscription payment services aren’t screwing Apple nearly as much as they are screwing their customers. 

    And all because Apple got far too greedy.  A 30% cut is absolutely insane.

    Not that this is how I think the situation should be resolved.  Regulators need to end Apple's app store monopoly.  It's MY iPhone, not Apple's iPhone, and I should be able to install apps from any source of MY choosing.  Apple's app store monopoly needs to end.
    shareef777williamlondonelijahgchelin
  • Reply 9 of 56
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,721member
    gatorguy said:
    bshank said:
    No surprise that Europe’s wants special treatment for its developers. European exceptionalism is on the rise
    It's not just the EU involved. The investigations into Apple's (and Google's) mobile OS practices have being coming in from around the world. Japan just this week has announced the fourth antitrust investigation involving Apple, and this one could have the biggest repercussions of all. It's looking into possible monopoly positions held by the two big techs.

    Before anyone jumps in with "Apple can't have a monopoly since Android has the majority share of the market" note that in the only relevant market, that of Japan, iOS holds a 70% controlling share with a 30% minority going to Android. 
    One doesn't need to have a majority of the market to be an alternative.  No one has to buy an Apple device.  Apple does not have a monopoly.  
    mark fearingdope_ahminewilliamlondonjas99bshankwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 56
    tehabetehabe Posts: 48member
    sdw2001 said:
     Apple does not have a monopoly.  

    repeating this doesn't make it true, as long as there is no other way to install software on an Apple device, Apple has a monopoly over the software distribution on that device. It doesn't matter if you can buy another one or that only a few people are using it, it is a monopoly. The same is true for Google and the Play Store, Sony and the PlayStation store, Nintendo and their Switch store. It is not true for Apple on macOS or Microsoft on Windows.

    It could even be argued that Apple requirement to have a developer license and that applications on macOS have to be signed and notarised that is creating a monopoly.


    williamlondonelijahg
  • Reply 11 of 56
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,721member
    darkvader said:
    dewme said:
    Where this headed is that more and more apps will be free to download with a subscription managed totally out-of-band by the app developer. This is exactly how Microsoft Office 365 (and other subscription based apps) works today and it’s really not a big deal.

    From a consumer perspective it just means that you’re having to deal with a separate payment system for all of these out-of-band subscriptions and you’re handing out your personal and financial information to many more people. In other words, consumers are taking on more complexity, inconvenience, and privacy/security risk so that App developers can skim a little more profit from you. Yes, they can be nice and pass along some of their savings to you, but they don’t have to. They can charge whatever they want and with addictive games the sky is the limit.

    In the end, these out-of-band app subscription payment services aren’t screwing Apple nearly as much as they are screwing their customers. 

    And all because Apple got far too greedy.  A 30% cut is absolutely insane.

    Not that this is how I think the situation should be resolved.  Regulators need to end Apple's app store monopoly.  It's MY iPhone, not Apple's iPhone, and I should be able to install apps from any source of MY choosing.  Apple's app store monopoly needs to end.
    No, that's not how any of this works.  

    Apple doesn't have a monopoly.  They have a system in which you agree to participate when you buy your device.  Don't like their walled garden approach?  By a Samsung.  Buy a Pixel.  There are numerous viable alternatives to iOS.  If you want to install apps from third parties, get one of those alternatives.  Or create a movement to get Apple to change its mind.  But no, you want government to force Apple to change its own product with no evidence it will help consumers or that it's violating any laws.  

    Now, the commission.  Why is it "absolutely insane?" Obviously, the market disagrees.  Apple is in business to make money.  They charge what the market will bear and what will be good for their business.  This is why the commission is 15% in some cases...because the good PR and goodwill with small developers will make Apple more money.  

    Opinions like the one you've stated are not based on reality or the law.  It's just a tantrum.  



    rob53mark fearingdope_ahminedavwilliamlondonfotoformatjas9912Strangerswatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,252member
    sdw2001 said:
    gatorguy said:
    bshank said:
    No surprise that Europe’s wants special treatment for its developers. European exceptionalism is on the rise
    It's not just the EU involved. The investigations into Apple's (and Google's) mobile OS practices have being coming in from around the world. Japan just this week has announced the fourth antitrust investigation involving Apple, and this one could have the biggest repercussions of all. It's looking into possible monopoly positions held by the two big techs.

    Before anyone jumps in with "Apple can't have a monopoly since Android has the majority share of the market" note that in the only relevant market, that of Japan, iOS holds a 70% controlling share with a 30% minority going to Android. 
    One doesn't need to have a majority of the market to be an alternative.  No one has to buy an Apple device.  Apple does not have a monopoly.  
    If only Apple fans could serve as Japan's legal office.

    Sidenote; Had Apple controlled a 70% of the US market the Epic/Apple ruling would likely have fallen on the side of Epic and not Apple based on the judge's comments accompanying the decision. Yes Apple might have been found in violation of US antitrust laws after all the evidence was heard.

    I fully expect Apple's AppStore will not go unscathed, and neither Apple nor Google's appstore will exist as is 24 months from now. Both have been on a roll banking $B's in profit over the past decade in app commissions, but things will be changing, and significantly so. The hayday is coming to an end.

    They'll both remain highly profitable app stores, but not without serious competitors stealing away some statistically relevant percentage.
    edited October 7 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 13 of 56
    tehabetehabe Posts: 48member
    sdw2001 said:

    No, that's not how any of this works.  

    Apple doesn't have a monopoly.  They have a system in which you agree to participate when you buy your device.  Don't like their walled garden approach?  By a Samsung.  Buy a Pixel.  There are numerous viable alternatives to iOS.  If you want to install apps from third parties, get one of those alternatives.  Or create a movement to get Apple to change its mind.  But no, you want government to force Apple to change its own product with no evidence it will help consumers or that it's violating any laws.  

    Now, the commission.  Why is it "absolutely insane?" Obviously, the market disagrees.  Apple is in business to make money.  They charge what the market will bear and what will be good for their business.  This is why the commission is 15% in some cases...because the good PR and goodwill with small developers will make Apple more money.  

    Opinions like the one you've stated are not based on reality or the law.  It's just a tantrum. 
    Imagine, you own a house, the town you live in sells the street to your house to a private investor, because it needs money, and the new owner says to you, pay 30% of your income as rent for the street. You can't sell your home because the value decreased due to that and there is also not another street you can use to reach your house. And maybe because you are such a "free market" lover that you convinced the city council that property owner should be regulated by the state. So essentially you have exchanged regulation by a public body with the regulation of a private company which can do what ever it wants, because the company's only reason to exist is making money. And yes, the owner of your street has in this example an monopoly for accessing your house, even if there are houses on other streets which are not owned by the same person.

    I hope your are rich enough to live in your dream world.
    williamlondonelijahg
  • Reply 14 of 56
    tehabe said:
    sdw2001 said:
     Apple does not have a monopoly.  

    repeating this doesn't make it true, as long as there is no other way to install software on an Apple device, Apple has a monopoly over the software distribution on that device. It doesn't matter if you can buy another one or that only a few people are using it, it is a monopoly. The same is true for Google and the Play Store, Sony and the PlayStation store, Nintendo and their Switch store. It is not true for Apple on macOS or Microsoft on Windows.

    It could even be argued that Apple requirement to have a developer license and that applications on macOS have to be signed and notarised that is creating a monopoly.


    No, what you write is riddled with non-logic and inconsistencies.  Again - what you are saying is  I can't buy Target products at Trader Joes. And what about grocery stores charging shelf fees? Is THAT illegal? If so on what grounds? If a supplier doesn't pay shelf fees, guess what, they don't get into the store. None of what you say can be applied to any other situation in any way. It's really just anger that another company has had success and you want to make sure they don't.
    edited October 7 dope_ahminedavwilliamlondonjas99watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 56
    sdw2001 said:
    gatorguy said:
    bshank said:
    No surprise that Europe’s wants special treatment for its developers. European exceptionalism is on the rise
    It's not just the EU involved. The investigations into Apple's (and Google's) mobile OS practices have being coming in from around the world. Japan just this week has announced the fourth antitrust investigation involving Apple, and this one could have the biggest repercussions of all. It's looking into possible monopoly positions held by the two big techs.

    Before anyone jumps in with "Apple can't have a monopoly since Android has the majority share of the market" note that in the only relevant market, that of Japan, iOS holds a 70% controlling share with a 30% minority going to Android. 
    One doesn't need to have a majority of the market to be an alternative.  No one has to buy an Apple device.  Apple does not have a monopoly.  
    And just as importantly - no developer HAS to make an app for an Apple product do they? I mean, they can make other things. How about taking advantage of the wide open X-Box store...oh wait.
    williamlondonjas99watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 56
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,682member
    darkvader said:
    dewme said:
    Where this headed is that more and more apps will be free to download with a subscription managed totally out-of-band by the app developer. This is exactly how Microsoft Office 365 (and other subscription based apps) works today and it’s really not a big deal.

    From a consumer perspective it just means that you’re having to deal with a separate payment system for all of these out-of-band subscriptions and you’re handing out your personal and financial information to many more people. In other words, consumers are taking on more complexity, inconvenience, and privacy/security risk so that App developers can skim a little more profit from you. Yes, they can be nice and pass along some of their savings to you, but they don’t have to. They can charge whatever they want and with addictive games the sky is the limit.

    In the end, these out-of-band app subscription payment services aren’t screwing Apple nearly as much as they are screwing their customers. 

    And all because Apple got far too greedy.  A 30% cut is absolutely insane.

    Not that this is how I think the situation should be resolved.  Regulators need to end Apple's app store monopoly.  It's MY iPhone, not Apple's iPhone, and I should be able to install apps from any source of MY choosing.  Apple's app store monopoly needs to end.
    Just shows how uneducated you are. Apple's costs to furnish and support its App Store infrastructure ia not cheap. Let's look at another market, the three biggest food delivery services, https://www.bikky.com/blog/biggest-food-delivery-services. ;

    "If your restaurant doesn’t have its own delivery team, GrubHub will take care of it, but at a cost. They ask for an additional 10% cut per order, bringing the total rev-share to 23.5% on average." I don't know if Apple gets any of this money when people use their iOS app. 

    I regularly walk by a health food store that has a sign that says case purchases at 20% over wholesale. This means individual product costs are even more. The store needs to pay rent, salaries and other things and the cost above wholesale is what they use to pay these things. This store doesn't manufacture anything, they simply sell things. Why should any app store be any different?

    As for your declaration that YOUR iPhone is yours to do as you wish, I suggest you read this statement on Apple's website, 
    https://www.apple.com/legal/sla/

    "Your use of Apple software or hardware products is based on the software license and other terms and conditions in effect for the product at the time of purchase. Your agreement to these terms is required to install or use the product."

    davwilliamlondonjas9912Strangerswatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 56
    tehabetehabe Posts: 48member
    mark fearing said:

    No, what you write is riddled with non-logic and inconsistencies.  Again - what you are saying is  I can't buy Target products at Trader Joes. And what about grocery stores charging SELF fees? Is THAT illegal? If so on what grounds? If a supplier doesn't pay shelf fees, guess what, they don't get into the store. None of what you say can be applied to any other situation in any way. It's really just anger that another company has had success and you want to make sure they don't.
    If you don't know what the difference between the compitition between Trader Joe's and Target and the competition between Android and iOS is, that there is no way I can explain it to you.  Why is this so hard to understand what the differences are? Why simple grocery store around the corner and the app store on your phone are not the same? I mean, I could buy an HP printer from store A and get the ink from store B but I can't buy an app for my iPhone from store A today and store B tomorrow. And I would have to switch the entire platform, with all the consequences it entails. How is that the same of getting bread from store A today and store B tomorrow? Sorry, but you really don't understand what a monopoly is and what it isn't.

    And if Apple has only success because they use their market power on iOS, I mean they just advertised their services in the settings, than they can go bankrupt for all I care.
    williamlondonelijahgavon b7
  • Reply 18 of 56
    darkvader said:
    dewme said:
    Where this headed is that more and more apps will be free to download with a subscription managed totally out-of-band by the app developer. This is exactly how Microsoft Office 365 (and other subscription based apps) works today and it’s really not a big deal.

    From a consumer perspective it just means that you’re having to deal with a separate payment system for all of these out-of-band subscriptions and you’re handing out your personal and financial information to many more people. In other words, consumers are taking on more complexity, inconvenience, and privacy/security risk so that App developers can skim a little more profit from you. Yes, they can be nice and pass along some of their savings to you, but they don’t have to. They can charge whatever they want and with addictive games the sky is the limit.

    In the end, these out-of-band app subscription payment services aren’t screwing Apple nearly as much as they are screwing their customers. 

    And all because Apple got far too greedy.  A 30% cut is absolutely insane.

    Not that this is how I think the situation should be resolved.  Regulators need to end Apple's app store monopoly.  It's MY iPhone, not Apple's iPhone, and I should be able to install apps from any source of MY choosing.  Apple's app store monopoly needs to end.

    Right, some of these cultists will eat you alive for even THINKING like that. The same ones that riled up against Microsoft’s inclusion of IE. Same ones that stand up against Google’s tracking/privacy issues on Google’s device (apparently Apple can do whatever they want since it’s THEIR phone, but when it comes to Google consumers come first).

    Wonder what they would think if auto manufacturers made it a requirement to buy parts for their vehicles only through them. What if businesses no longer wanted to give people breaks and/or vacation time? It’s their business, let them run it however they want.

    The instantly in some of these thoughts is mind boggling.
    williamlondonelijahg
  • Reply 19 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,252member
    rob53 said:
    darkvader said:
    dewme said:
    Where this headed is that more and more apps will be free to download with a subscription managed totally out-of-band by the app developer. This is exactly how Microsoft Office 365 (and other subscription based apps) works today and it’s really not a big deal.

    From a consumer perspective it just means that you’re having to deal with a separate payment system for all of these out-of-band subscriptions and you’re handing out your personal and financial information to many more people. In other words, consumers are taking on more complexity, inconvenience, and privacy/security risk so that App developers can skim a little more profit from you. Yes, they can be nice and pass along some of their savings to you, but they don’t have to. They can charge whatever they want and with addictive games the sky is the limit.

    In the end, these out-of-band app subscription payment services aren’t screwing Apple nearly as much as they are screwing their customers. 

    And all because Apple got far too greedy.  A 30% cut is absolutely insane.

    Not that this is how I think the situation should be resolved.  Regulators need to end Apple's app store monopoly.  It's MY iPhone, not Apple's iPhone, and I should be able to install apps from any source of MY choosing.  Apple's app store monopoly needs to end.
    Just shows how uneducated you are. Apple's costs to furnish and support its App Store infrastructure ia not cheap. Let's look at another market, the three biggest food delivery services, https://www.bikky.com/blog/biggest-food-delivery-services. ;

     That "uneducated' comment does you no favors.

    Based on courtroom testimony in the Apple/Epic trial it IS relatively cheap to operate Apple's AppStore. As little as 22% of what Apple keeps as their cut from app sales is enough to pay for it.  The other 78% may be pure profit for them.

    Translation: For a $5 purchase on the AppStore the developer typically gets $3.50. That leaves $1.50 for Apple. From that Apple uses  .33 cents to support the service, servers, and all other necessary infrastructure. That leaves Apple with $1.17 in pure profit from the $5 app sale for simply enabling the transaction. Every developer would love having that impressive a margin. 
    edited October 7 muthuk_vanalingamelijahg
  • Reply 20 of 56
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,682member
    darkvader said:
    dewme said:
    Where this headed is that more and more apps will be free to download with a subscription managed totally out-of-band by the app developer. This is exactly how Microsoft Office 365 (and other subscription based apps) works today and it’s really not a big deal.

    From a consumer perspective it just means that you’re having to deal with a separate payment system for all of these out-of-band subscriptions and you’re handing out your personal and financial information to many more people. In other words, consumers are taking on more complexity, inconvenience, and privacy/security risk so that App developers can skim a little more profit from you. Yes, they can be nice and pass along some of their savings to you, but they don’t have to. They can charge whatever they want and with addictive games the sky is the limit.

    In the end, these out-of-band app subscription payment services aren’t screwing Apple nearly as much as they are screwing their customers. 

    And all because Apple got far too greedy.  A 30% cut is absolutely insane.

    Not that this is how I think the situation should be resolved.  Regulators need to end Apple's app store monopoly.  It's MY iPhone, not Apple's iPhone, and I should be able to install apps from any source of MY choosing.  Apple's app store monopoly needs to end.

    Right, some of these cultists will eat you alive for even THINKING like that. The same ones that riled up against Microsoft’s inclusion of IE. Same ones that stand up against Google’s tracking/privacy issues on Google’s device (apparently Apple can do whatever they want since it’s THEIR phone, but when it comes to Google consumers come first).

    Wonder what they would think if auto manufacturers made it a requirement to buy parts for their vehicles only through them. What if businesses no longer wanted to give people breaks and/or vacation time? It’s their business, let them run it however they want.

    The instantly in some of these thoughts is mind boggling.
    The "insanity" of some of your comments show your bias against Apple. The forced inclusion of IE on all PCs was ruled against Microsoft because they didn't own the hardware and were forcing hardware vendors to only use IE, nothing else. As for automobile manufacturers, there are many who have parts you can only get from them, third party, aftermarket manufacturers can only approximate those items. The car's computer, especially the latest ones, are only available from the manufacturer (believe this is true). As for Google's predatory tracking, Apple doesn't do anything near the amount Google does. Google exists because of tracking, selling our information to drive advertising. As for Google consumers (customers?) coming first, go ahead and believe that garbage. You've sold your entire life to them, they know everything about you and have access to all of it. Don't kid yourself, this is Google's model. Same with Facebook.
    davwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
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