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.

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Top Rated Comments

ouimetnick Avatar
29 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
29 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
29 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
29 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
29 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
29 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)