Apple will allow third-party payments on dating apps in the Netherlands

Apple has once again updated app store rules to allow dating app providers operating in the Netherlands to make payments using third-party systems, in hopes of finally settling its dispute with the country’s competition regulator.

As part of the change, the company said a 27% commission will still apply to payments, even if they’re made through a third-party system.

Last year, the competition watchdog ruled that Apple’s earlier reluctance to allow dating app providers to use payment systems other than its own was anti-competitive. This led the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) to issue a penalty order fining Apple €5 million for each week it failed to meet the regulator’s demands for 10 weeks.

Apple challenges the sanction

After 20 million euros in fines, Apple made an update to allow dating apps to use alternative payment systems, but still imposed various conditions on how they could do so. The ACM was not happy with these changes, however, and continued to fine Apple.

Earlier this week, Apple was fined its tenth weekly fine of 5 million euros to reach the cap of 50 million euros set by the order.

With Apple’s latest App Store policy update, the ACM is now considering issuing another larger periodic fine, unless Apple’s most recent updates are sufficient to address the issues. anti-competitive imbalances. According to the ACM, if the updates lead to “final terms” for dating apps, the watchdog will forward those terms to developers for review. If the developers are happy with the revised terms, the ACM will then give Apple its final decision on whether or not the company is in compliance with competition regulations.

Apple continues to disagree with the original ACM order and appealed the 50 million penalty, but said the policy updates were made to fulfill its legal obligations in the Netherlands in the meantime.

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