Last Christmas, Apple had to eat the nougat on Christmas Eve with bad news, and that is that the market and competition regulator in the Netherlands, after an investigation and the complaint of the technology company responsible for several services to find a partner that have app for iOS, required those in Cupertino to allow such services could opt for alternative payment systemsdirectly in the apps, that did not go through the Apple payment system.
The regulator did not grant too much time to Apple, since its pronouncement occurred on December 24, and summoned the technology company to allow such alternative means of payment from January 15. And it was not convenient for Apple to delay the application of the necessary changes for this to become a reality, since together with the deadline, it was established that each week of delay would result in a fine of five million euros. An economic punishment that, in theory, would have a limit of 10 weeks, that is, 50 million euros.
When the deadline expired, Apple relented, but only halfway, trusting that the changes introduced would be enough for the regulator, but to its misfortune, it found that it submitted them to the opinion of the other party, that is, those responsible for the apps that, with their complaint, prompted the adoption of this measure (although it is true that the regulator had already opened an investigation in this regard previously). And as expected, neither the ACM nor those responsible for the services were satisfied.
Since then, and despite some movement by Apple, fines and more fines have been added, to the point that at this time the punishment for Apple already amounts to 45 million euros and, according to the Reuters Agency, the proposal presented this week by Apple to the ACM has not been sufficient for the regulator either. In this way, except for surprises, the initially proposed ten weeks will be completed, and with them the fifty million euros.
However, according to a regulator source quoted by Reuters, it is possible that the sanction against Apple will not cap that figure. Moreover, it is possible that after the first ten weeks have passed, the ACM could impose a greater sanction, which could adopt the same format, that is, a cumulative weekly fine, of an amount yet to be determined. According to the sources, the regulator is empowered to take this action, and given its actions so far, it can be expected that it will maintain a fairly hard position.