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."

Popular Stories

iPhone 16 Pro Max Generic Feature 2

5 Biggest Changes Rumored for iPhone 16 Pro Max

Tuesday May 21, 2024 7:29 am PDT by
Given Apple's rumored plan to add an all-new high-end tier to its iPhone 17 series in 2025, this could be the year for Apple to bring its boldest "Pro Max" model to the table — the kind of iPhone 16 upgrade that stands tall above its siblings, both figuratively and literally. If you have been holding out for the iPhone 16 Pro Max, here are five of the biggest changes rumored to be coming...
6chatgpt mac app

5 Reasons to Use OpenAI's ChatGPT App for Mac

Thursday May 23, 2024 6:07 am PDT by
On May 13, OpenAI during its Spring Update announced that it would be releasing a desktop ChatGPT app for the Mac in the "coming weeks," and said that ahead of a wider launch it had started rolling out the app to some ChatGPT Plus subscribers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. After testing the app for a few days, we thought it was worth sharing some reasons why...
macOS 15 Feature

macOS 15 System Settings to Get Design Overhaul

Thursday May 23, 2024 12:51 pm PDT by
With the macOS 15 update that is set to debut at WWDC in June, Apple plans to rearrange "menus and app UIs," according to a report from AppleInsider. The System Settings app, which was last updated with macOS Ventura, will get one of the biggest updates. With macOS Ventura, Apple renamed the System Preferences app to System Settings, introducing a design similar to the Settings app on the...
new best buy blue

Best Buy's Memorial Day Sale Has Record Low Prices on iPads, MacBooks, and Much More

Friday May 24, 2024 7:12 am PDT by
Best Buy today kicked off its Memorial Day weekend sale, and it has some of the best prices we've tracked in weeks on iPads and MacBooks. Specifically, you'll find record low prices on the 5th generation iPad Air, iPad mini 6, M2 MacBook Air, and M3 MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment,...

Top Rated Comments

neuropsychguy Avatar
31 months 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
31 months 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
31 months 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
31 months 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
31 months 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
31 months 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)