Netherlands ACM Investigates Apple Over App Store

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The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) announced it will investigate Apple to determine whether the company abuses its position in the App Store, like giving its own apps preferential treatment.

Netherlands ACM Investigation

This is similar to Elizabeth Warren’s schtick about “Companies that control the platform can’t participate on that platform.” Read: [Senator Warren Wants to Break Up Big Tech]

To a large degree, app providers depend on Apple and Google for offering apps to users. In the market study, 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.

Henk Don, Member of the Board of ACM
App Store logo

The ACM released a market study into app stores for mobile phones. It found that app providers depend on these stores in order to reach users, with no realistic alternatives to the Google Play Store and App Store. In theory, this gives Apple and Google opportunities to set unfair conditions.

These “providers of digital products and services” are required to use both company’s payment systems, pay a commission to get onto the app stores, have trouble communicating with Apple and Google about problems, and in some cases can’t use all functionalities of an iPhone (Although in many cases that’s probably due to security and/or privacy restrictions).

ACM is adamant that Apple and Google are innocent until proven guilty, and encourages developers to come forward with issues they may have.

[Apple Accused of App Store Monopoly in Antitrust Suit]

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Lee Dronick
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Lee Dronick

I prefer to buy my tulips from inside a walled garden.