Margrethe Vestager Says Tech Giants May Prefer Fines to Compliance

Foo Yun Chee, Reuters:

European Commission Vice President and digital chief Margrethe Vestager said Apple’s behaviour could indicate other big companies behave similarly.

“Some gatekeepers may be tempted to play for time or try to circumvent the rules,” she said in an online speech at a U.S. awards ceremony on Tuesday.

“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.”

The maximum fine Apple will pay in the Netherlands is €50 million. Apple made over $330 million every day in Europe during its most recent quarter — admittedly, the winter holiday quarter. This penalty seems to be insufficient to compel urgent change for a company with bottomless wealth.