Having been accused of imposing “unreasonable conditions” in the App Store, Apple has been steadily accumulating a higher and higher fine in the Netherlands: the total now stands at €25m (roughly £21m) and will soon reach €30m. The competition authority ACM continues to say that Apple has failed to satisfy the requirements set out in the injunction from last year that was upheld in court on Christmas Eve.
But the company appears to remain largely unrepentant, and believes it is following the rules. In a new letter to the ACM obtained by 9to5Mac, Kyle Andeer (credited as Apple’s Chief Compliance Officer) writes that the company believes it complies with the ACM’s requirements.
“Apple believes its solution is fully compliant with Dutch law,” Andeer writes. “Apple has a consistent and longstanding commitment to compliance in each and every country in which we do business. We take these obligations very seriously.”
He explains in detail why the company does not consider the requirement for a separate app binary file for the Netherlands to be something to get hung up on.
“Developers routinely offer separate binaries for different jurisdictions,” Andeer argues. “It it is not simply possible, but common, for a developer to submit different versions of the same app in different countries.
“A new binary for the Dutch storefront would simply require a minor technical change to an existing app consisting of a limited adjustment that allows a developer of a dating app to use a third party payment processor or insert a link to a website for purchase. There are no additional costs associated with this approach.”
As evidence of this, Andeer points to the fact that many developers already have separate versions of the same app for different markets. These include Match Group, whose dating apps are among those affected by the ACM’s decision. Match Group has had no problem uploading these separate files, which often have greater differences than those needed to use alternative payment solutions in the Netherlands, Apple claims.