Apple must allow dating app developers to offer non-Apple payment systems for in-app purchases or risk a hefty fine, according to a detailed ruling released today by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). The regulator has been investigating the company’s App Store practices since 2019, but Reuters reports that it decided to focus on dating apps after receiving a complaint from Match Group, owners of dating services such as Tinder, Match.com and OkCupid.
This decision does not apply to other app categories, such as games or productivity apps, in the country.
“Some app providers depend on Apple’s App Store and Apple makes use of that dependence,” writes Martijn Snoep, chairman of the board of ACM. “Apple has special responsibilities because of its dominant position. That is why Apple must also take the interests of app providers seriously and set reasonable conditions.”
In addition to allowing developers of dating apps to offer alternative payment systems, the Dutch regulator says they should also be able to point users to payment options outside the app. If the company does not do this before January 15, it risks a fine of 5 million euros per week, with a maximum of 50 million euros.
Currently, app developers must use Apple’s in-app purchase system, which allows the company to save 15 to 30 percent on purchases made by customers in an app.
In a statement to The edgeApple spokesman Marni Goldberg said the company “does not agree”.[s] with the order of the ACM and [has] appeal filed.” She went on to say that Apple “does not have a dominant position in the software distribution market in the Netherlands, has invested huge resources to help dating app developers reach customers and thrive in the App Store, and has the right under EU law.” – and Dutch legislation to charge developers of these apps for all services and technologies that Apple provides them.”
Yet governments around the world are investigating the rules of Apple’s App Store. In September, the company announced an agreement with a Japanese regulator to allow ‘reader apps’, such as Netflix and Kindle, to redirect users to third-party login pages where customers can provide credit card information without bypassing Apple’s system. South Korea passed a law in August that would allow developers to use payment systems other than those used by platform owners, and reportedly decide what Apple and Google must do to comply.
The US also planned to open up Apple to third-party payment systems as a result of its legal battle with Epic Games, but an appeals court overturned that decision just before it took effect, which could take months to materialize. unload.