The Netherlands condemns Apple for in-app payments to third parties

The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has ruled that Apple’s plan to allow dating apps on the App Store to use third-party payment methods for in-app purchases does not meet the requirements of the a previous decision.

Netherlands, in-app payments

For this reason, the ACM ordered Apple to pay 5 million euros per week up to a maximum of 50 million or until Apple complies.

A decision had indeed forced Apple to authorize the activation of alternative payment systems integrated within dating applications. Apple has therefore made several changes, which the ACM deems insufficient.

“The changes announced by Apple do not meet the requirements. For now, dating app providers can simply express “interest”. Additionally, Apple has raised several hurdles for dating app providers to use third-party payment systems, as they must first seek and receive special approval from the App Store in order to then direct users to methods alternative payment methods. »

Additionally, Apple forces developers to choose between native and third-party payment systems, while ACM wants the company to leave both options enabled.

“Apple needs to adjust its terms of access to the Dutch App Store for dating app providers. In the App Store, dating app providers must also be able to use payment systems other than Apple’s payment system. Additionally, dating app providers should have the ability to refer to payment systems external to the app. This was established in an order subject to late payment that ACM imposed on Apple in August 2021. On December 24, 2021, the court ruled that this part of the order could be released to become final. »

Among other things, Apple has not yet specified whether it will also charge a commission on purchases made by users through alternative payment systems.

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