Apple Eliminates Separate Binary Requirement for Dutch Dating Apps Accepting Alternative Payments
Apple today announced that developers of dating apps on the App Store in the Netherlands that use an alternative payments system no longer need to create and use a separate binary. This change allows these developers to accept alternative payments in their existing dating apps, but only in the Netherlands and on devices running iOS or iPadOS.
Apple also announced two other changes that apply to dating apps accepting alternative payments in the Netherlands:
- Payment Service Provider Criteria: Apple is providing updated and more-specific criteria to evaluate non-Apple payment service providers that developers of dating apps in the Netherlands may use.
- Consumer Disclosures: Apps that use either entitlement need to include an in-app modal sheet that explains to users that they're going to make purchases through an external payment system, and the potential impact that choice could have on the user. Apple is adjusting the language on the modal sheet and reducing the number of times the sheet must be displayed.
In December 2021, the Netherlands' Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) announced that Apple must let dating apps offer payment methods other than Apple's in-app purchase system in the App Store in the Netherlands, or else it would face fines. Apple proceeded to allow Dutch dating apps to use special entitlements that allow for alternative payments, but required developers to submit a separate app binary to do so.
In response, the ACM said that Apple had failed to satisfy the conditions of its order. Apple has incurred a fine of €5 million per week ever since, with the fines now totalling €50 million, and the ACM said the fines could potentially go even higher.
As part of its announcement today, Apple reiterated that it disagrees with the order and is appealing it. In the meantime, Apple said it believes that the changes announced today demonstrate the company's ongoing commitment to fulfill its legal obligations in the Netherlands. It is now up to the ACM to decide whether Apple's changes bring it into compliance with the order, but the ACM has yet to publicly announce its decision.