Some tech giants may prefer to pay a fine rather than comply, said the European Union’s antitrust chief, citing Apple’s recent battle with the Dutch courts.
The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) handed the tech giant a €5m fine this week, after Apple was accused of limiting access for non-Apple payment methods on subscriptions to dating apps. This marks the fifth occasion that the firm have been served with a hefty penalty.
European Commission Vice President and digital chief Margrethe Vestager said in an online speech at a US awards ceremony on Tuesday: “Some gatekeepers may be tempted to play for time or try to circumvent the rules”.
“Apple’s conduct in the Netherlands these days may be an example. As we understand it, Apple essentially prefers paying periodic fines, rather than comply with a decision of the Dutch Competition Authority on the terms and conditions for third parties to access its App Store.”
It comes as Vestager gears up for introducing landmark rules called the Digital Markets Act, which set to impact Silicon Valley’s immense control of the online space. It is due to come into effect next year.
Meanwhile in the UK, the competition watchdog directed Facebook to sell Giphy after an investigation found that the acquisition would reduce competition between social media platforms. It that the 2020 deal had already removed Giphy as a potential challenger in the display advertising market.
The government is also working on the Online Safety Bill, which looks to better protect children whilst using social media, like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.