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Dutch antitrust regulator finds Apple App Store payments anti-competitive

iPhone maker ordered to make changes to in-app payment system, following investigation that began in 2019

A Dutch antitrust authority has found Apple's in-app payment system to be anti-competitive for some developers, following an investigation into the firm's store policies.

According to a report from Reuters, the The Netherlands' Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) launched an investigation into Apple's position in the market in 2019, but the case was later streamlined to focus specifically on dating apps.

The investigation included a complaint from Match Group, owner of dating app Tinder, which claimed that Apple's anti-competitive rules were affecting communications about payments with users on Apple devices.

The ACM relayed the investigation findings to Apple last month, and has ordered the tech firm to make changes to its in-app payment system.

Apple, Match and The ACM all declined to comment on the case, which is currently under legal review and not open to the press or the public. Apple has asked the Rotterdam District Court for an injunction to block publication of the ruling as the case plays out.

A court spokesperson did confirm the existence of the case to Reuters, but could not give details on when an outcome can be expected.

Last month, a judge ordered Apple to allow apps that link to external payment options at the end of a long antitrust legal battle between the iPhone maker and Epic Games.

From December 9, Apple will no longer be able to stop developers from including external links that lead its users towards payment systems from which Apple cannot take a cut of the revenue.

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