Apple Fined €5 Million for Ninth Time in the Netherlands Over Third-Party In-App Payment Systems

Apple has been hit with its ninth €5 million ($5.5 million) fine in the Netherlands for ostensibly continuing to insufficiently meet new requirements regarding alternative payment systems for dating apps, Reuters reports.

iOS App Store General Feature Clorange
The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) said that Apple had sent it "new proposals" on Monday in an attempt to resolve the company's dispute over allowing dating app developers to use third-party payment methods in the Netherlands. The ACM did not disclose any details about Apple's newly proposed remedy, which it said it would now assess, and the organization continued to impose its ninth weekly penalty of €5 million on the company.

Apple has now been fined a total of €45 million ($49.5 million). The regulator will only be able to fine Apple one more time, since it will then reach its maximum total penalty of €50 million.

Apple said in mid-January that it would comply with the ACM's ruling on allowing alternative payment systems for dating apps, 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.

The ACM said that Apple had "raised several barriers" for dating apps looking to offer alternative payment systems in the Netherlands and was forcing dating apps to choose between the App Store's standard in-app purchase system or alternative payment systems. The regulator said that dating apps must be able to offer both options in the Netherlands.

Apple has repeatedly appealed the ACM's order, arguing that alternative payment systems in the ‌App Store‌ pose privacy and security risks for customers. Apple has previously said it will be unable to assist customers with refund requests, subscription management, and other issues encountered when purchasing digital goods and services through alternative systems.

Top Rated Comments

ouimetnick Avatar
9 months ago
“We comply with all local laws and regulations in countries that we operate in”

-Timothy D Cook
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DarelRex Avatar
9 months ago
Apple says it's already complying: dating app developers now can submit an alternate, Netherlands-only version of their app, that features the non-Apple payment option. The regulator's saying no, they should be allowed to submit just a single version of their app that includes this feature. But that would make this law take effect throughout the world, not just in the Netherlands. Of course, that's what the regulator wants! Hence the fines, because Apple is never going to do that.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BaldiMac Avatar
9 months ago
Being that this case was initiated by the Match group, here is what the Mozilla Foundation has uncovered about their pricing practices.

https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/blog/new-research-tinders-opaque-unfair-pricing-algorithm-can-charge-users-up-to-five-times-more-for-same-service/
http://www.fosspatents.com/2022/02/tinder-pricing-scandal-dutch-regulator.html

Tinder Plus users around the world must engage with an opaque and unfair personalized pricing algorithm, according to new research by Mozilla and Consumers International.

The research — which spanned five continents — reveals that within a single country, consumers can be quoted up to 31 unique price points for a Tinder Plus subscription. Further, some people are charged up to five times more for the exact same service: In the Netherlands, prices ranged from $4.45 to $25.95. In the U.S., they ranged from $4.99 to $26.99.

Consumers International and Mozilla also determined that Tinder’s personalized pricing algorithm can charge older users more money. On average across the six countries investigated, 30-49 year-olds were charged 65.3% more than 18-29 year-olds. This is occurring even after Tinder faced a $24 million lawsuit for unfair pricing based on age ('https://news.bloomberglaw.com/us-law-week/tinders-24-million-deal-to-end-age-discrimination-suit-undone') in California.



The "Coalition for App Fairness" isn't trying to help the little guy here. They're using lobbying and lawsuits to gain more power to screw the consumers.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Danfango Avatar
9 months ago

Why dating apps specifically? Why not all apps?
These aren't dating apps. They are prostitution apps masquerading as dating apps. They run a cash slicing monopoly on prostitution payments and are pissed that someone else is in on their pimping.

This is completely legal in NL which is why there is a regulator.

Lets also remember exactly how hard it was to cancel subscriptions everywhere before someone took the ability away from every shyster out there. This is where the regulators are doing damage to the consumers and supporting the business only. That's not a regulator, that's enforcing a corporate monopoly instead. Which is a crap ton worse.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
huge_apple_fangirl Avatar
9 months ago

Under the initial draft of the DMA, examples of obligations on gatekeepers include:


* Allowing third parties to inter-operate with the gatekeeper's own service in certain specific situations.
* Allowing business users to access data that they generate in their use of the gatekeeper's platform.
* Providing companies advertising on their platform with the tools and information necessary for advertisers and publishers to carry out their own independent verification of their advertisements hosted by the gatekeeper.
* Allowing business users to promote their offer and conclude contracts with their customers outside the gatekeeper's platform.

Examples of prohibited behaviour include:


* Self-preferencing – treating services and products offered by the gatekeeper itself more favourably in ranking than similar services or products offered by third parties on the gatekeeper's platform.
* Usage of certain data, including usage by a gatekeeper of any non-public data from business users on its platform to compete with those businesses, and combining personal data obtained from the core platform services with any other service unless in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
* Preventing consumers from linking up to businesses outside their platforms.

It all sounds like great ideas on paper. But in reality, like so many EU tech regulations, it will have unforeseen consequences. Instead of Apple designing the product, bureaucrats in Brussels will. We will end up with something like this:


Attachment Image
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
9 months ago
One more fine to go and it's a wrap. At this point, I think Apple is pretty much waiting to get fined one last time too.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

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 ...
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...
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...
european parliament

EU Provisionally Agrees on Law That Would Force Apple to Allow Alternative App Stores, Sideloading, and iMessage Interoperability

Friday March 25, 2022 4:46 am PDT by
European lawmakers have provisionally agreed upon a new law that would force Apple to allow user access to third-party app stores and permit the sideloading of apps on iPhones and iPads, among other sweeping changes designed to make the digital sector fairer and more competitive. The European Council and European Parliament said on Friday they had reached a political agreement on the...
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)...
iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue

Apple Fined Another 5 Million Euros by Dutch Competition Regulator Over Dating App Payment Requirements

Monday February 7, 2022 8:49 am PST by
The Netherlands' Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has fined Apple five million euros for a third consecutive week for allegedly failing to satisfy the requirements it set regarding alternative payment systems for dating apps, according to Reuters. The ACM today said it has still not received enough information from Apple to assess whether Apple has properly complied with the order,...
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...
iOS App Store General Feature Dock 2

Apple Would Rather Pay Up to €50 Million in Fines Than Address 'Gatekeeper' App Store Behavior, Says EU Chief

Wednesday February 23, 2022 6:14 am PST by
Apple would rather pay a maximum of €50 million in fines than address concerns brought forward by the Dutch competition authority regarding developer access to third-party payment methods on the App Store, the EU's head of digital policy, Margrethe Vestager, has said. During a speech about the digital economy and privacy (via TechCrunch), Vestager said that Apple "essentially prefers paying...

Popular Stories

iphone 14 pro hands snowflakes 1

Best Black Friday iPhone Deals Still Available

Wednesday November 23, 2022 1:55 pm PST by
Cellular carriers have always offered big savings on the newest iPhone models during the holidays, and Black Friday 2022 is no different. Right now we're tracking notable offers on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro devices from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. For even more savings, keep an eye on older models like the iPhone 13. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors....
ipad holiday bulbs

Best Black Friday iPad Deals Still Available

Thursday November 24, 2022 12:25 pm PST by
Black Friday deals have been in full swing for the better part of a month, and now that the shopping holiday is officially here we're seeing even more solid discounts on Apple devices. We're highlighting the best sales for all of Apple's product lines, and in this article you'll find the best Black Friday sales on iPad, iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner ...
General Black Friday Deals 2022 Green

All the Apple Black Friday Deals You Can Still Get

Friday November 25, 2022 4:40 am PST by
Although Black Friday is now technically over, many Apple products are still seeing major discounts. In this article, you'll find every Apple device with a notable Black Friday sale that's still available. We'll be updating as prices change and new deals arrive, so be sure to keep an eye out if you don't see the sale you're looking for yet. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of...
apple watch gold ornaments

Best Black Friday Apple Watch Deals Still Available

Wednesday November 23, 2022 9:31 am PST by
We're tracking all of the best Apple product discounts for Black Friday this week, and the Apple Watch always makes a great gift around the holiday season, so you're guaranteed to find solid discounts right now. In this article, you'll discover the best Black Friday sales on Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE, and Apple Watch Ultra. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these...
mac imac snowflakes

Best Black Friday iMac and MacBook Deals Still Available

Thursday November 24, 2022 1:07 pm PST by
Our Black Friday coverage continues today with the best deals you can find on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iMac. As with all Black Friday deals, we aren't sure how long any of these will last, and prices are always fluctuating, so if you see something you want, be sure to buy it soon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a...
airpods pro 2

Apple Engineer Addresses Lack of Lossless Support on New AirPods Pro

Friday November 25, 2022 2:58 am PST by
An Apple engineer has addressed the lack of lossless audio support in the second-generation AirPods Pro in a new interview. Current Bluetooth technology in the AirPods lineup means that Apple's audio products do not support Apple Music Lossless audio. Apple has previously hinted that it may develop its own codec and connectivity standard that builds on AirPlay and supports higher quality...
maxresdefault

Nothing Phone 1 Displays AirPods Battery Level After Latest OS Update

Friday November 25, 2022 3:33 am PST by
Nothing Phone 1 users today began receiving the Nothing OS 1.1.7 update, which adds support for displaying the battery percentage of connected AirPods, amongst other improvements and bug fixes. If you own a Nothing Phone 1, you can check for the OTA update by going to Settings -> System -> System updates. Bear in mind that as support for displaying AirPods battery level is still an...
new airpods lineup black friday

Best Black Friday AirPods Deals Still Available

Tuesday November 22, 2022 10:01 am PST by
Although we've been tracking Black Friday deals for a few weeks now, the shopping holiday is officially kicking off this week and we're highlighting the best sales for each of Apple's product lines. In this article, you'll find the best Black Friday sales on AirPods 2, AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, and AirPods Max. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors....
Manchester United flag

No, Apple Isn't Planning to Buy Manchester United

Thursday November 24, 2022 12:19 pm PST by
Apple is not currently planning to purchase Premier League club Manchester United, according to a source familiar with the matter. A report earlier today from British tabloid The Daily Star claimed that Apple had expressed an interest in buying Manchester United for around $7 billion, but our source with direct knowledge of the situation said the report is false. Manchester United has...