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

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.

iOS App Store General Feature Desaturated
In a statement shared with TechCrunch, the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) says Apple has "refused to put forward any serious proposals" and that "Apple's so-called 'solutions' continue to create too many barriers for dating-app providers."

“In the past week, we did not receive any new proposals from Apple with which they would comply with ACM’s requirements. That is why Apple will have to pay a fifth penalty payment. That means that the total amount of all penalty payments currently stands at 25 million euros.

“We have clearly explained to Apple how they can comply with ACM’s requirements. So far, however, they have refused to put forward any serious proposals. We find Apple’s attitude regrettable, especially so since ACM’s requirements were upheld in court on December 24. Apple’s so-called ‘solutions’ continue to create too many barriers for dating-app providers that wish to use their own payment systems.

“We have established that Apple is a company with a dominant position. That comes with extra responsibilities vis-à-vis its buyers and, more broadly, society at large. Apple must set reasonable conditions for the use of its services. In that context, it cannot abuse its dominant position. Apple’s conditions will thus have to take into account the interests of buyers.”

Apple said in mid-January that it would comply with the ACM's ruling on allowing alternative payment systems, but the company's terms included only reducing its commission on such purchases from the standard 30% to 27%, requiring developers to maintain separate app binaries, and requiring developers to submit monthly records of sales through alternative means to Apple in order to track commissions.

Apple and the ACM clearly have different ideas of what policies will satisfy the requirements of the original ruling, and the two sides appear to remain far apart as the fines against Apple continue to accumulate.

Top Rated Comments

hagar Avatar
8 months ago
Just pull all dating apps from the Dutch store and call it a day. Then there’s no more market to complain and fight over.
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
icanhazmac Avatar
8 months ago

Just pull all dating apps from the Dutch store and call it a day. Then there’s no more market to complain and fight over.
Agreed, take a stand here before this crap gets out of hand.

Apple's response should be: "unfortunately due to the complexities of international law we can no longer provide dating app services via our app store" and provide links for the citizens of country X to complain to their government representatives.

My condolences to any and all Dutch singles.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bollman Avatar
8 months ago
Wait another 5 weeks, pay the max penalty. Then what? Off the hook?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KaliYoni Avatar
8 months ago
€50 million is about US$57 million as of the writing of this post. Not a big deal for a company with annual operating cash flow of $104 billion and $35 billion of cash holdings. Apple probably will let the fine max out and take its time seeking a legislative solution. Plus with US interest rates set to rise over the short to middle term, Apple could even earn an increasing sum on a $57 million cash set aside while it waits for the Dutch government to do something. Further, eventually paying a Euro-denominated fine could give Apple some US tax savings because it can avoid repatriating $57 million from the Euro-zone. Crazy.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NMBob Avatar
8 months ago

Does Apple even remember this anymore?
Yeah, it's like maybe this is on some yellow sticky that fell off of the chin of someone's iMac.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
huge_apple_fangirl Avatar
8 months ago
Does Apple even remember this anymore?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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