According to the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), tech giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) allowed different payment methods in Dutch dating apps to comply with European and Dutch competition rules. However, app developers have recently exclusively used Apple’s in-app payment method.
Shares of Apple closed down 3.86% on Friday to close at $137.13.
Following an investigation into Apple’s business operations, the market regulator revealed that Apple does not allow dating app developers to use another payment system. They were instructed to use only Apple’s payment method. Apple was charging commissions of 15% to 30% on purchases of digital goods for using its system.
As a result, ACM has imposed periodic penalty payments on Apple to modify its policies. As a result, the sum of all penalty payments amounted to 50 million euros before the iPhone maker agreed to allow alternative payment methods despite legal challenges.
Nonetheless, Apple will continue to charge dating app developers commissions on sales made outside of the company’s in-app payment system, but at a reduced rate.
Martijn Snoep, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ACM, said: “We want everyone to be able to enjoy the benefits of the digital economy…Apple has avoided this responsibility and abused its dominant position vis-à-vis dating app providers. We are happy that Apple has finally aligned its conditions with European and Dutch competition rules.
Apple’s update said, “We don’t believe that some of these changes are in the best interest of our users’ privacy or data security. Because Apple is committed to constructive engagement with regulators, we are making the additional changes at the request of the ACM. As we’ve said before, we disagree with ACM’s initial order and are appealing it. »
The Taking of Wall Street
With a bullish stance on Apple, Needham analyst Laura Martin maintained a Buy rating and price target of $170 (23.97% upside potential) on Apple.
Martin said: “We believe the correct way to evaluate AAPL is based on lifetime value (LTV) per user and that AAPL’s (‘Apple Silicon’) M1 and M2 chips enable it to integrate its hardware across devices and innovate its software features faster. Both lock consumers in, making it harder to leave the iOS ecosystem.
The consensus among analysts is a strong buy based on 21 buys and 6 holds. The expected average Apple stock price of $187.22 implies upside potential of 36.53% from current levels. The shares have gained 5.7% over the past year.
Investors remain positive
TipRanks’ Stock Investors tool shows that investors currently have a positive stance on Apple, with 1.6% of investors maintaining portfolios on TipRanks, increasing their exposure to AAPL stocks over the past 30 days.
Although Apple is near its 52-week low, high analyst ratings, the company’s dominance and long-term outlook indicate optimism. As a result, investor data on TipRanks’ Stock Investors tool shows that investors are building a position in Apple at the current level, viewing it as an attractive buying opportunity.
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