Apple Makes Further Adjustments to Dating App Rules to Satisfy Dutch Regulatory Requirements
Apple today announced further changes to its App Store rules for dating apps in the Netherlands in an attempt to comply with requirements put in place by the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM).
Apple says that after "productive conversations" with the ACM, it is making the following updates:
- Developers of dating apps in the Netherlands can use the StoreKit External Purchase Entitlement, the StoreKit External Purchase Link Entitlement, or both entitlements.
In accordance with the ACM's wishes, we've made adjustments to the user interface requirements announced this past March for developers who choose to use either or both of the entitlements.
- We've adjusted the payment processing provider criteria for developers who wish to use either of the entitlements.
- The 3 percent commission discount also applies to in-app purchases that qualify for a lower commission rate (for example, App Store Small Business
- Program enrollees or subscription services after one year of paid service -- both of which already qualify for a 15% commission).
Though Apple is making these changes, the company says that it does not believe these updates are "in the best interest" of user privacy or data security, and it is continuing to appeal the original ACM order.
As a reminder, developers of dating apps who want to continue using Apple's in-app purchase system -- which we believe is the safest and most secure way for users to purchase digital goods and services -- may do so and no further action is needed.
We don't believe some of these changes are in the best interests of our users' privacy or data security. Because Apple is committed to constructive engagement with regulators, we're making the additional changes at the ACM's request. As we've previously said, we disagree with the ACM's original order and are appealing it.
Apple has been clashing with Dutch regulators over dating app rules since December 2021, when the ACM announced that Apple would be required to allow dating apps to use alternative payment methods on the App Store in the Netherlands. Apple complied with the demand, but in a way that the ACM was not satisfied with, so Apple has had to make changes to the implementation several times now.
Apple initially attempted to implement the App Store changes in a way that would require developers to choose between using alternative payments or in-app payments, but the ACM demanded that developers be able to use both at the same time. Developers who use alternative payment methods in the Netherlands must still pay Apple's commission, but the fee is reduced by three percent.
The ACM has been fining Apple for not complying with the rules as the Cupertino company works to meet the regulatory demands, and it has racked up more than 50 million euros in fines.