Apple & Big Tech may just keep paying fines instead of abiding by new laws

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2022
European antitrust head Margrethe Vestager says that Apple paying fines instead of complying with Dutch App Store laws shows how Big Tech intends to "circumvent the rules."




Apple has yet to make any changes mandated by the Netherlands' antitrust regulators, and instead has paid $28 million in fines. Now European Commissioner and digital chief Margrethe Vestager says this could be how all Big Tech companies respond to changes in the law.

According to Reuters, she said that Apple's behavior means "some gatekeepers may be tempted to play for time or try to circumvent the rules."

"Apple's conduct in the Netherlands these days may be an example," she continued. "As we understand it, Apple essentially prefers paying periodic fines, rather than comply with a decision of the Dutch Competition Authority on the terms and conditions for third parties to access its App Store."

Dutch regulators have been levying a fine of $5.7 million weekly for since the company missed a January 15, 2022 deadline to make changes. The changes concern allowing alternative payment methods for apps instead of requiring developers to use Apple's own in-app subscription service.

Apple has, however, claimed that it is complying with Dutch laws by allowing dating apps in the Netherlands to use third-party payment systems.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    hriw-annon@xs4all.nl[email protected] Posts: 61unconfirmed, member
    That must be heartening for the Apple fans. Verstager's Apple ideas tend to get overturned on appeal.
  • Reply 2 of 14
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    Just pay the fines?

    Yeh, that's exactly what the banksters started doing after the 2008 crash.
    They figured the fines were just another cost of doing business -- a normal, everyday business expense.
    davgregPrometheu
  • Reply 3 of 14
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,369member
    I love how politicians think that tech companies can just snap their fingers and drastically change their payment, cloud and operating systems within weeks that could effect billions of users. It's cute really.
    edited February 2022 thtigorskyforegoneconclusionPrometheuappleinsideruserwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 14
    maltzmaltz Posts: 464member
    Well, if the fines aren't punitive enough, that's on lawmakers.  Otherwise, yeah, it's just a cost of doing business.  There's no effective difference between that and raising taxes.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 1,038member
    How Apple sells and processes payment is none of the Dutch government’s business.
    Absolutely less than none.
    dewmethtigorskyradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    Companies choose to pay fines as a cost of doing business every day. They’ve done this forever. It’s nothing new and certainly not unique to Apple. If a monetary penalty is allowed as an alternative to taking some action that the government wants you to do, then anyone is going to weigh the cost of each and choose the cheaper option. Don’t like it? Find an alternative to levying a fine that will make complying the easier/cheaper option.

    Put another way. If you’re getting mugged and the mugger says “Give me your wallet or I’ll kill you”, you’ll give them your wallet. If they say “Either give me your Rolex or give me your wallet”, and your wallet has more cash in it than the Rolex is worth, you’ll give them the Rolex.
    edited February 2022 Spitbathradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 14
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,423member
    Is anyone surprised by this in the very least? The Dutch authorities haven’t a clue about what they are doing and are totally unwilling to work with Apple to come up with a fair and equitable solution that doesn’t punish Apple for its success or impart risk on Apple’s customer base. 

    The only card the Dutch authorities know how to play is the punishment card, whether it’s fair or not to apply it in this situation. At this point it’s in the Dutch authority's best interest to maintain their childish position because they’ve created a new and recurring source of revenue, which may have been the plan all along considering the unrealistic expectations they’ve levied on Apple and their unwillingness to consider the efficacy of what Apple has already proposed as a workaround. 
    thtradarthekat
  • Reply 8 of 14
    Fines can always be increased. The Netherlands could say that the fines will double each week for example.
    muthuk_vanalingamIreneWdarkvader
  • Reply 9 of 14
    jkichline said:
    I love how politicians think that tech companies can just snap their fingers and drastically change their payment, cloud and operating systems within weeks that could effect billions of users. It's cute really.
    While at the same time saying that Tinder needing an additional SKU for their app that handles 3rd party payments is "unreasonable"...
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 14
    dewme said:
    Is anyone surprised by this in the very least? The Dutch authorities haven’t a clue about what they are doing and are totally unwilling to work with Apple to come up with a fair and equitable solution that doesn’t punish Apple for its success or impart risk on Apple’s customer base. 
    Exactly. Why is it on Apple to figure out what the government wants? If they have something specific in mind, then just come out with it.
    thtradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 14
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 1,146member
    All fines against corporations should be handled the way some countries fine humans.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day-fine

    A few million euros?  Apple won't even notice.  A week of global revenue?  Apple will stop acting like they're above the law.


    Prometheu
  • Reply 12 of 14
    dewme said:
    Is anyone surprised by this in the very least? The Dutch authorities haven’t a clue about what they are doing and are totally unwilling to work with Apple to come up with a fair and equitable solution that doesn’t punish Apple for its success or impart risk on Apple’s customer base. 

    The only card the Dutch authorities know how to play is the punishment card, whether it’s fair or not to apply it in this situation. At this point it’s in the Dutch authority's best interest to maintain their childish position because they’ve created a new and recurring source of revenue, which may have been the plan all along considering the unrealistic expectations they’ve levied on Apple and their unwillingness to consider the efficacy of what Apple has already proposed as a workaround. 
    It's on Apple to prevent situations getting to this point to begin with. There are several similar situations brewing in the U.S. that Apple is going to ignore until regulators finally step in, and then its going to be worse for everyone, because now the terms are going to be dictated by the clueless, and Apple is going to play victim and pretend like it's only bad because it's being forced on them. Well, no kidding Apple. Had you read the writing on the wall that everyone else has, you could have headed off much of what's coming by making appropriate changes yourself, changes you have time to plan out and execute properly.
    edited February 2022 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 13 of 14
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,358moderator
    darkvader said:
    All fines against corporations should be handled the way some countries fine humans.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day-fine

    A few million euros?  Apple won't even notice.  A week of global revenue?  Apple will stop acting like they're above the law.
    The people who make laws aren't infallible and many of these new laws that are being written to attack US companies are not justified. Apple isn't even acting like they're above the law, they are complying with the laws set out and the lawmakers keep moving the goalposts. They are trying to pick the winners and losers in the markets Apple operates in and trying to give preferential treatment to other companies. The dating app industry should be a matter of antitrust investigation but antitrust investigators like to pick and choose when it matters:

    https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/match-group-can-get-away-acquiring-25-dating-sites-counting-151306438.html

    One group owns a large part of the industry and makes billions from it. They just don't want to give any of it to Apple and are trying to pressure lawmakers into giving them a bigger portion and direct access to customer data. There are no victims here, they are all making billions.
    edited February 2022
  • Reply 14 of 14
    croprcropr Posts: 1,129member
    jkichline said:
    I love how politicians think that tech companies can just snap their fingers and drastically change their payment, cloud and operating systems within weeks that could effect billions of users. It's cute really.

    That would be indeed be a valid reasoning, if Apple did not have the engineering resources and if the decision of the just was a few weeks ago.    However Apple has plenty of engineers and the decision of the judge was in October, some 4 months ago.      
    muthuk_vanalingam
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