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Apple prefers to pay fines rather than comply with antitrust order: EU’s Margrethe Vestager

The revised App Store conditions for dating-app providers in Netherlands were deemed “unreasonable”.

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Apple prefers to pay fines rather than comply with the Dutch antitrust watchdog's order, EU's head of digital policy, Margrethe Vestager, said on February 22 during a speech. The Netherlands' Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) this week levied its fifth €5 million fine against Apple for not complying with its order to open up the in-app payment options for dating apps. The authority has been levying weekly fines of €5 million since Apple missed the January 15 deadline. Referring to this, Vestager said: "Effective enforcement, which includes the Commission having sufficient resources to do so, will be key to ensure compliance. 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. 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 appstore." The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is also probing Apple and Google over the openness of app stores and in-app payment systems, and the developments in the Netherlands and elsewhere, as well as the comments by Vestager, will be useful to consider before any decision is reached. What is happening with Apple in the Netherlands? January 14 - 24: Apple on January 14 said that it will allow dating apps in the Netherlands to offer non-Apple payment options to users in compliance with a recent order issued by the country's ACM, but…

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