Apple: Et tu, Amsterdam?

From Reuters’ “Dutch watchdog finds Apple app store payment rules anti-competitive – sources” posted Thursday:

The Dutch antitrust authority has found that Apple’s rules requiring software developers to use its in-app payment system are anti-competitive and ordered it to make changes, four people familiar with the matter said, in the latest regulatory setback for the iPhone maker…

The Dutch investigation into whether Apple’s practices amounted to an abuse of a dominant market position was launched in 2019 but later reduced in scope to focus primarily on dating market apps. They included a complaint from Match Group, owner of the popular dating service Tinder, which said Apple’s rules were hindering it from direct communications with its customers about payments.

The Netherlands’ Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) last month informed the U.S. technology giant of its decision, making it the first antitrust regulator to make a finding the company has abused market power in the app store, though Apple is facing challenges in multiple countries.

My take: A Dallas-based internet company with a portfolio of more than 45 dating apps — including Tinder, Match.com, Meetic, OkCupid, Hinge, PlentyOfFish, Ship and OurTime — files a complaint in the birthplace of mercantile capitalism and draws Apple’s first antitrust blood. Strange.

9 Comments

  1. Michael Goldfeder said:
    While all of these countries jump on the anticompetitive bandwagon, it remains to be seen just how many consumers will depart from the security of using Apple’s App Store for payment.

    “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

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    October 7, 2021
  2. David Emery said:
    Cui bono? (Or the converse, “who was actually -hurt-?”)

    2
    October 7, 2021
    • David Emery said:
      Cicero asked “Who Benefits?” in one of his trials. His point was basically one of establishing motive (or the absence of same.)

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      October 7, 2021
  3. Gregg Thurman said:
    “Where’s the beef?”

    Retailers of all sorts, worldwide, DO NOT provide direct access to customers, nor do they allow external payment systems in THEIR stores.

    This suit is targeting Apple specifically, without challenging all others doing exactly the same thing. None of these actions against Apple stands an ice cubes chance in hell of seeing the light of day.

    In order to change Apple’s rules a wholesale change would have to be made in the worldwide retail industry.

    No. These actions are governmental money grabs, nothing more.

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    October 7, 2021
  4. Greg Lippert said:
    Mixing French with the Dutch in the headline was a weird combo.

    Maybe Apple can create a way to opt-in for communications from third parties so the customer can choose. Shouldn’t it be the customer’s choice?

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    October 7, 2021
    • Gregg Thurman said:
      Don’t you mean Latin and Dutch?

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      October 7, 2021
  5. Tom Farris said:
    I think ‘Et tu’ is the same in both Latin & French. But my high school Francais was long ago in an Galaxy faraway…

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    October 7, 2021
  6. Kathy Corby said:
    Haha– the quote is “Et tu, Brute? Then fall Caesar” from Shakespeare, supposedly uttered by Caesar, upon recognizing his trusted friend Brutus among his assassins. According to Wikipedia, “the phrase is often used apart from the plays to signify an unexpected betrayal by a friend.” However no one should count sovereign governments among their friends, especially Apple.

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    October 7, 2021

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