What's Up With Apple: Dutch Antitrust Order, iPhone Plant in India Closed, and More

The Dutch agency charged with ensuring competition in the country ruled on Friday that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) must “adjust the unreasonable conditions in the App Store that apply to dating app providers.” Those conditions include Apple’s requirement that apps sold on the App Store pay a 30% commission to the company and that the apps may not include any other payment system.

In a press release, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets gave Apple two months to change the “unreasonable conditions” or face a penalty of €5 million per day up to a maximum penalty of €50 million (about $56 million). The agency’s chairman, Martijn Snoep, said:

Some app providers depend on Apple’s App Store and Apple abuses it. Apple has special responsibilities because of its dominant position. That is why Apple must also take the interests of app providers seriously and work with reasonable conditions. We now enforce that. Protecting people and companies from abuse of market power in the digital economy is one of our most important tasks.”

The ruling states that dating app providers must be able to use another or their own payment system in the App Store. The app developers also should be able to use in-app payment options.

Apple has filed a legal challenge to the ruling, according to a report from Bloomberg. The company makes its usual claim that it has “invested tremendous resources” to support app developers and that the company has the right under EU and Dutch law to charge for that support.

Last Thursday, we noted that Foxconn had begun trial production of the iPhone 13 at its plant near Chennai in India’s Tamil Nadu state. According to an exclusive Reuters report, the plant had been closed for a week due to a food poisoning incident and was supposed to reopen for some operations Monday. That reopening has been delayed for another three days.

More than 250 women who work at the plant were treated for food poisoning, prompting protests from some of the plant’s 17,000 workers. Most of the plant’s workers are women and most also live in Foxconn-provided dormitories.

The plant currently manufactures the iPhone 12 for sale in India. The Chennai plant also manufactures phones for Xiaomi and Amazon Fire TV sticks.

Briefly noted:

Apple may ditch the iPhone’s physical SIM card slot when iPhone 15 rolls around. MacRumors cites a Brazilian website and an anonymous tipster that “has advised major U.S. carriers to prepare for the launch of eSIM-only smartphones by September 2022.” That would indicate that a physical SIM card slot would disappear from at least some iPhone 14 models due out next year.

Over at Screen Rant, Rick Dunkle has ranked Apple TV+ originals from worst to best.

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