The Dutch antitrust watchdog, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), announced this today Reuters
) that Apple will allow its customers to pay for various Dutch dating apps by using various payment options built into such apps, ending a dispute that Apple hooked up for $52, 58 million in fines.
As many of you know, Apple requires in-app payments for App Store transactions to be made using Apple’s proprietary in-app payment platform, which allows the company to reduce 15% to 30% of the transaction value. Third party and alternative payment platforms are not allowed and any developer offering links to alternative payment options will be removed from the App Store.
Apple calls for fines in the Netherlands totaling $52.58 million
That’s what happened last year when mobile game developer Epic tried to promote its own payment platform for its popular Fortnite game, which would have resulted in players paying less for in-game currency. Apple responded by kicking Epic and the Fortnite game from the App Store. And in the Netherlands, Apple’s failure to allow consumers to pay for dating apps using alternative payment methods resulted in Apple being fined weekly.
Epic offered its own in-app payment platform for Fortnite users so they could bypass Apple’s discount on in-app payments
Apple claimed it met the requirements of the Dutch watchdog and would not be fined. However, the tech giant’s solution was to force Dutch dating app developers to release separate versions of their apps for the US and the Netherlands. In this way, Apple can continue to collect its 15% to 30% discount on dating apps installed by its customers in the United States, while customers in the Netherlands can pay through an alternative payment platform.
The ACM states that this solution creates an “unnecessary barrier”. On the other hand, Apple said its plan will “comply with its legal obligations in the Netherlands while also having the ability to maintain its standard terms in the rest of the world.”
In a statement, the ACM
) said: “Apple has changed its unfair terms and conditions and will now allow other payment methods in Dutch dating apps. With this concession, Apple meets the requirements that the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) sets for European and Dutch competition. recently, dating app customers could only pay with the payment method that Apple imposed.”
The statement continues: “According to the ACM, Apple has abused its dominant position with these practices. From now on, dating app providers can charge their customers in various ways. The ACM enforced these changes by imposing an injunction under subject to penalty payments. Ultimately, the sum of all penalty payments came to 50 million euros.”
Dating app developers in the Netherlands still pay Apple 27% of the value of an in-app transaction
Martijn Snoep, chairman of the board of ACM: “We want everyone to be able to reap the benefits of the digital economy. In the digital economy, powerful companies have a special responsibility to keep the market fair and open. Apple avoided taking responsibility and has abused its dominant position over dating app providers. We are pleased that Apple has finally brought its terms into line with European and Dutch competition rules. This will give app providers more competitive opportunities and ultimately consumers will benefit. advantages.”
Under the new rules Apple has imposed, dating app developers will still have to pay Apple a commission for purchases made outside of the App Store payment platform, albeit at a small discount. Those who paid Apple 30% of the value of an in-app transaction related to a dating app are now paying 27%.
Apple released a statement today stating, “We do not believe some of these changes are in the best interests of our users’ privacy or data security. As we have said before, we do not agree with the original ACM injunction and we will appeal against this.”