Apple faces Dutch antitrust probe over favouring its own apps

The new Apple TV+ logo

The new Apple TV+ logo

"ACM will investigate, among other aspects, whether Apple acted in violation of the prohibition of abuse of dominance, for example, by giving preferential treatment to its own apps", the Dutch enforcer said in a statement. ACM reports that they mostly received reports of unfair practices concerning Apple's App Store. However, it's possible to speculate that the probe may be motivated partially by the antitrust complaint that Spotify Technology AG recently filed against Apple with the European Commission. Apple's App Store growth: 15%.

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets, or ACM, made a decision to look into the matter after receiving complaints from iOS app makers. "That is why ACM sees sufficient reason for launching a follow-up investigation, on the basis of competition law".

Apple's App Store accounted for approximately 64 percent of revenue, but Google Play revenue is growing faster. Also Dutch apps for news media, but is also calling on app providers to flag. The ACM has not yet reached the conclusion that abuse of power has taken place. On the one hand, it is in the interest of Apple and Google to offer many and different apps in their app stores.

App providers indicate that they do not always have a fair chance with their own apps, against those from Apple or Google, which are often pre-installed on mobile phones.

Apple is increasingly moving toward subscription-based Services as a major source of income.

Speaking to CNN, Apple asserts it's "confident" the review will confirm an "equal opportunity" for all developers to succeed within its App Store. Also the distinction between those apps that do and do not have to pay the commission over in-app purchases.

The new popup follows an earlier attempt by Apple to prevent unwanted subscriptions by banning apps that hide subscription fees in small print to trick users into "agreeing" to subscribe for higher amounts than they expected, the report adds. The company said it respected the ACM and treats all developers equally, while investing significantly in creating a "secure store for all customers".

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