Dutch Regulators to Meet With Dating App Providers to Assess Apple's Plan for Alternate In-App Payment Options

The Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) in the Netherlands plans to assess Apple's announced plans for allowing dating apps on the App Store in the country to use third-party payment methods, ensuring those plans "meet the requirements" of a previous ruling.

iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue
Over the weekend, Apple announced that it would exclusively allow dating apps on the ‌App Store‌ in the Netherlands to use third-party payment methods for in-app purchases. The rule change is the first of its kind for Apple, which previously required all developers worldwide to use its own system for all in-app purchases.

Apple's concessions came following a December ruling from the ACM that, by restricting dating apps from using third-party payment methods, Apple is engaging in an "abuse of market power." The ACM threatened to fine Apple up to a maximum of 50 million euros per week if it did not change its policies.

Now that Apple has announced changes, the ACM wants to assess whether those changes meet the requirements of its previous ruling, according to a press release. As part of its probe into the changes, the ACM will meet with dating app providers, such as The Match Group, which owns Tinder, to ensure Apple's changes sufficiently address concerns.

While Apple will allow dating apps in the Netherlands to use third-party payment methods, there are some caveats to the concessions. Importantly, Apple will continue to receive a commission even for purchases made outside the ‌App Store‌ in-app purchasing system, although Apple has yet to reveal what that commission rate will be.

Developers will also be required to maintain separate app binaries for distribution in the Netherlands if they choose to offer alternate in-app purchasing options.

From a user experience perspective, Apple is warning that by using third-party payment methods, the experience of requesting a refund, managing subscriptions, viewing purchase history, and more will be made significantly more complicated.

Because Apple will not be directly aware of purchases made using alternative methods, Apple will not be able to assist users with refunds, purchase history, subscription management, and other issues encountered when purchasing digital goods and services through these alternative purchasing methods. You will be responsible for addressing such issues with customers.

Apple said it plans to appeal the ACM's ruling and has expressed concern that the order "could compromise the user experience, and create new threats to user privacy and data security."

Top Rated Comments

neuropsychguy Avatar
19 weeks ago

Apple and Google are very desperate to think this commission idea will fly with global regulators. It won't.
So what’s the solution? Allow app developers to pay nothing to Apple? Apple makes developers pay developer fees based on app downloads? What’s the incentive for Apple to have an App Store if there is no commission?

Regulators/governments are going to lose if they get to force Apple to work for free.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
The Phazer Avatar
19 weeks ago
Apple and Google are very desperate to think this commission idea will fly with global regulators. It won't.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
elvisimprsntr Avatar
19 weeks ago
Is ‘Dating apps’ such a huge deal there that there are special government rules!!? If they had made a rule for social media apps, which would include dating apps too, it was understandable. Also, I wonder the greedy chat app companies would label themselves as dating apps to avail this payment functionality.
Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands and is taxed by the government. I suspect the government and industry doesn’t want to share its revenue with Apple.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tucupeis Avatar
19 weeks ago
so, apple has to list an app for free, and collect no commission on in app purchases? why would apple want to maintain such an app store?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
falainber Avatar
19 weeks ago

This is I’m sure just the beginning of the snowball. This isn’t sustainable for Apple to be forced to host these apps for free without being compensated. Think of Amazon, or any brick and mortar store. You can’t post a product listing on there saying “hey, don’t buy from here cause we’ll have to pay a fee. Instead, meet us in the back alley and we’ll sell you the same thing. Totally legit don’t worry”.

Sure it’s not perfect and anything this big will surely have holes where things get through, but I’d still like to see these separate app stores and alternative payment methods not pass.
You are confused. Apple is charging for services they do not provide (dating). That should be illegal. They can charge for distributing the app. But if they start abusing this too, then the governments should mandate alternative app stores.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
falainber Avatar
19 weeks ago

Seems we have this all figured out, why they don't want the App Store involved for the dissemination and tracking of Netherland Dating apps financial data. Don't want a third party figuring out who's involved and whose doing what. Apple must be thinking why should we help prop up this industry using their store services for free.
Nobody is using Apple services here. Dating service is provided by other companies which develop the apps and host the service. It sounds like you want Internet providers to take fees for for everything internet too because that's what Apple is doing here.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue

Apple to Collect 27% Commission on Third-Party App Payment Systems in the Netherlands

Friday February 4, 2022 3:16 am PST by
Apple says it will take 27% commission on purchases made in dating apps through third-party payment options in the Netherlands, in compliance with a Dutch regulatory ruling. In an update on its developer support site, Apple said it would collect 27% commission instead of its usual 30% on transactions made in dating apps that use alternative payment methods. Apple says the decreased...
iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue

Apple's Fines in Dutch Antitrust Case Could Exceed €50 Million

Friday March 25, 2022 10:57 am PDT by
Apple is facing yet another €5 million ($5.5 million) fine in the Netherlands for failing to sufficiently meet recently mandated alternative payment system requirements for dating apps, reports Reuters. Apple has been fined €45 million ($49.5 million) by the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) to date, with Apple racking up a new fine each week. The ACM initially said that it...
iOS App Store General Feature Dock 2

Apple Defends App Store Changes in the Netherlands as Fines Reach €30 Million

Monday February 28, 2022 9:32 am PST by
Amid an ongoing dispute with the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) in the Netherlands over the App Store, Apple has defended its plan to require app developers to submit an additional app binary for the Dutch storefront if they wish to use a third-party payment processing method. The ACM has ruled that Apple must allow dating apps in the Netherlands to use third-party payment...
paddle in app purchase

Paddle Plans to Launch Alternative In-App Purchase System on iOS That Circumvents Apple's Fees

Thursday October 7, 2021 1:00 am PDT by
In response to the Epic Games vs. Apple ruling last month, payments platform Paddle today announced that it plans to launch an alternative in-app payment system for iOS that replaces Apple's in-app purchase mechanism. In an emailed press release, Paddle described its payment system as a "true like-for-like, drop-in replacement" for Apple's in-app purchase mechanism, allowing developers to...
Mac App Store General Feature

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

Friday December 24, 2021 9:10 am PST by
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. 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,...
iOS App Store General Feature Desaturated

Apple Fined Another €5 Million Over Dating Apps as Dutch Regulators Say Apple Has 'Refused to Put Forward Any Serious Proposals'

Monday February 21, 2022 12:10 pm PST by
Dutch regulators have levied another fine of €5 million against Apple in a continued dispute over alternative payment systems for dating apps. Apple's total fines have now reached €25 million as regulators assess weekly fines up to a total of €50 million or until Apple satisfies the regulatory requirements. In a statement shared with TechCrunch, the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM)...
General App Store South Korea Feature Feature

Apple's Proposal to Allow Third-Party Payment Methods in App Store 'Lacks Detail,' Says South Korean Regulatory Commission

Thursday February 3, 2022 2:36 am PST by
Apple's plans to allow developers to use third-party alternative payments methods within their apps in South Korea "lacks concrete detail," according to South Korea's Communications Commission (KCC). In August, South Korea passed a law that bans app store operators from requiring developers to use their in-app purchase systems. Last month, Apple submitted its compliance plans to the KCC that ...
iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue

Illinois Floats Bill That Would Let Developers Skirt Apple's In-App Purchase Rules

Wednesday January 19, 2022 4:09 pm PST by
Illinois is the latest state to attempt to pass legislation that would prevent developers from being required to use Apple's in-app purchase options by allowing for alternate payment solutions within apps. As outlined by Illinois news site WGEM, under the Freedom to Describe Directly Act, distribution platforms like the App Store and Google Play would not be able to force Illinois developers ...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPad Pro USB C Feature Coral

Deals: Apple's iPad Pro Reaches Up to $449 Off in Amazon's Latest Sales

Wednesday May 25, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
Amazon is marking down a wide variety of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this week, with prices starting as low as $749.00 for the 11-inch tablet. You'll find the full list of sales below, all of which can be found on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
apple account card

Wallet App Now Supports Apple Account Cards on iOS 15.5

Wednesday May 25, 2022 5:01 pm PDT by
Apple appears to have recently updated the Wallet app to allow users to add an Apple Account Card, which displays the Apple credit balance associated with an Apple ID. If you receive an App Store or Apple Store gift card, for example, it is added to an Apple Account that was previously visible in the App Store and Apple Store apps. As of today, the Apple Account balance can also be added to...
Apple Tap to Pay iPhone

Apple Stores Rolling Out iPhone-to-iPhone Contactless Payments Starting Today

Wednesday May 25, 2022 6:54 am PDT by
Apple in February unveiled a new "Tap to Pay on iPhone" feature that will allow compatible iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, with no additional hardware required. Apple began testing the feature at its Apple Park Visitor Center earlier this month, and now Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has tweeted that the feature will begin...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...