Apple’s solution to Dutch App Store dispute just earned him another €5 million fine

Tech

Apple’s new proposals for dating apps in the Netherlands haven’t gone far enough to satisfy the Dutch competition authority, which has just announced it will fine the company another 5 million euros (about $5.6 million). It is the fourth weekly fine to be imposed on the company, bringing the total to €20 million (about $22.6 million), and these fines will continue on a weekly basis, as the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) believes Apple disobeys his command.

The ACM’s injunction, made public in late December, says Apple must allow dating app developers — and only dating app developers — to use alternatives to Apple’s in-app payment system in the country. Apple first announced its intention to comply with the order in mid-January and fully detailed its plans earlier this month.

But ACM is not happy with the details of Apple’s proposals, saying that “the revised terms and conditions Apple has imposed on dating app providers are unreasonable and create an unnecessary barrier.”

It especially doesn’t like that Apple is asking developers to submit a separate app binary for the Dutch market, which it says will cause additional costs for developers and force customers to download a new, separate app to access it. to alternative payment options. systems. The regulator also says it is not satisfied with “various other elements” of Apple’s proposals and says that Apple must adapt them to avoid further fines.

Despite efforts to implement the order, the iPhone manufacturer is still appealing the ACM’s decision. The iPhone manufacturer has said that offering alternatives to its proprietary in-app payment system “will compromise the user experience and pose new threats to users’ privacy and data security.” An Apple representative did not immediately respond to: The edgerequest for comment on the latest message from ACM.

Apple’s revenue from in-app purchases of dating apps in the Netherlands is likely to represent an insignificant portion of global revenue. But the dispute is significant for the early precedent it could set amid an international wave of criticism of Apple’s App Store policies.

Under Apple’s proposed policy, detailed in early February, developers of dating apps that use alternative payment systems will be charged a 27 percent commission by Apple, a small discount from the 30 percent commission required when developers own their own. -app payment system from Apple. Developers who want to use alternative payment systems must provide a separate app binary that is distributed via the Dutch App Store. The ruling of the ACM follows a complaint from Match Group (owners of Tinder and other dating services), Reuters Previously reported.

Interestingly, the ACM statement posted today makes no specific mention of Apple’s intention to collect a 27 percent commission on in-app payments through alternative payment systems.

Apple previously failed to meet ACM’s deadline for changing its policy, forcing it to pay a €5 million (about $5.7 million) weekly fine until it met. The Dutch regulator objected to the fact that Apple is creating barriers for developers who want to use third-party payment systems, such as forcing them to choose between payment systems outside the app or alternative payment systems within the app.

Apple’s App Store policies are under increasing scrutiny worldwide, both by developers and regulators. Last year, a judge ordered Apple in the US to allow developers to connect to third-party payment processors in response to a legal challenge from Epic Games, though that ruling was subsequently suspended pending appeal. South Korea has also passed legislation that prevents platform holders such as Apple and Google from preventing developers from using alternative payment systems.

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