Apple Must Let Dating Apps Offer Alternative Payment Methods in App Store, Dutch Regulator Says

Apple must let dating apps like Tinder and Match offer payment methods other than Apple's in-app purchase system in the App Store in the Netherlands, or else it will face fines, the Dutch competition regulator announced today.

Mac App Store General Feature
Specifically, the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) said Apple will have to pay a penalty of five million euros per week, up to a maximum of 50 million euros, if it does not comply with the order within two months. The deadline comes a few months after the ACM ruled the App Store's in-app commission structure was unreasonable.

"Some app providers are dependent on Apple's App Store, and Apple takes advantage of that dependency," said ACM chairman Martijn Snoep. "Apple has special responsibilities because of its dominant position. That is why Apple needs to take seriously the interests of app providers too, and set reasonable conditions."

The ACM has been investigating Apple since 2019, and while the probe started out as a look into whether Apple's App Store practices were an abuse of dominant market position, it was later scaled back to focus on dating apps.

The ACM has shared a PDF summary of its decision with more details, and MacRumors has reached out to Apple for comment on the matter.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

GMShadow Avatar
8 months ago
Just remove all dating apps from the Store in the Netherlands. Problem solved.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
metapunk2077fail Avatar
8 months ago
That will just result in 10 times more dating scams and lonely people being defrauded and robbed.

Thanks ignorant Dutch regulator for harming users. Bet your people were bribed by scammers.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coolfactor Avatar
8 months ago
These decision makers don't understand Apple's business model. They are applying old-world commerce thinking. Apple is GIVING so much to app developers, and then recovering that from purchases. So now they are expected to just give away the services and tools for free?

Yes, I think 30% was a tad too high. Apple's position on that is that it's a "standard retail markup", but that's in the brick-and-mortar marketplace, not the digital marketplace. Two totally different marketplaces.

If only Apple had started with a lower digital-friendly markup, would they be in this position?
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bsamcash Avatar
8 months ago


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Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gsurf123 Avatar
8 months ago
I say pull out of the Netherlands or do not sell the dating apps in the Netherlands. Throw up a nice disclaimer alerting the users that they cannot use those Apps because of their government. Apple has obligation to anyone and can run their store as they see fit.

I see these developer's as greedy. They were happy to pay the $99 in order to publish an App and were happy with Apple's skim for hosting the app and payment system for them until they decided they wanted all of the money.

Another alternative is charging per download/update for those not using the App Store for payments. If you want to use a toll road you have to pay. Welcome to world of wanting something for nothing.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple Knowledge Navigator Avatar
8 months ago
Well, personally, I always think on a date the dude should pay. But I don’t know if this counts as an alternate method?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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