Apple has announced a change in policy that will allow alternative payments on Dutch dating platforms. The tech giants has been embroiled in a high profile legal battle with Dutch regulators that has stretched over the last several months, and today Apple published a new version of its App Store rules that allow local dating apps to take payments through third-party processors.
Previously, its proposals to comply with a December ruling mandating the change had not satisfied the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) and earned Apple 50 million euros worth of fines.
Apple previously announced that it would allow dating apps to use alternative payment systems, but imposed various conditions on how they could do so. Developers would have to submit a separate app binary for the Dutch App Store, and would have to choose between using its in-app payment system or a third-party version, rather than being able to offer both in the same app. And perhaps most notably, Apple said it intended to collect a 27 percent commission on payments made using alternative payment systems.
Apple is now giving up on its insistence on a separate binary for apps that see outside payment systems. According to Apple, “This change means that developers may include either entitlement in their existing dating app, but still must limit its use to the app in the Netherlands storefront and on devices running iOS or iPadOS.” It also laid out more specifics on how to evaluate non-Apple payment system providers and examples for the pages apps need to present to customers to inform them they’re about to interact with a non-Apple payment service.
Apple has currently received nine fines in the Netherlands over an antitrust order related to dating apps. The order requires it to allow local dating apps to be able to use third-party payment technologies if their developers wish, rather than being locked to only being able to use Apple’s in-app payment API for iOS.
Since January, the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has levied a series of (weekly) penalties against Apple for what it asserts is continued non-compliance with the order.