Apple threw $52 million at Dutch App Store rules, but no more fines will come

What do you want to know

  • Apple will not face further fines due to the requirement for Dutch dating apps to be allowed to use third-party payment systems.
  • Apple has already paid $52 million in fines since January 2022.
  • Dutch dating apps can now use other payment systems, not just Apple’s.

Apple will no longer have to pay fines to the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) after confirming that the iPhone maker has finally complied with App Store requirements. But the company has already paid $52 million in fines to get there.

The whole affair stemmed from an ACM order that forced Apple to allow dating apps from the Dutch App Store to use payment methods other than Apple’s, which the company dragged its feet on but got away with. finally complied. The ACM accused Apple of abusing its position, taking a percentage of all sales and subscriptions as a result.

Dating app providers should be allowed to choose a payment method in their apps and have the ability to refer customers to their own websites for payment. Dating app providers cannot be forced to use Apple’s payment method or be banned from the App Store. This is not allowed by European and Dutch competition rules. Abuse of a dominant position drives up prices, reduces the quality of products and services and limits innovation.

Apple began paying weekly fines in January as it worked to make the necessary technical changes to enable third-party payments through the App Store. However, he did not do this voluntarily and was accused of making the process more difficult than necessary. Apple, for its part, thought it had done enough. Apple later removed its requirement that Dutch dating apps submit two separate binaries for review, one with third-party payments and one without.

However, the ACM has now confirmed that Apple is now complying with its demands and therefore will no longer face fines or orders – it had already paid the maximum €50 million in fines, but a new command would have reset the count.

In January 2022, the penalty payments began to come into force and amounted to a maximum of 50 million euros. This is why Apple must pay a total fine of 50 million euros. Apple is now playing by the rules. This is why ACM no longer needs to impose a new order under penalty. Over the past several months, ACM had gathered information from dating app providers and independent experts before assessing whether Apple had complied with the order.

Apple recently shared more details about developer requirements for its StoreKit external entitlement (opens in a new tab) that would allow third-party payment systems to be used in the apps. This update also included another sweep at the ACM with Apple saying it believes allowing third-party payments will impact user privacy.

We do not believe that some of these changes are in the interest of our users’ privacy or data security. Because Apple is committed to constructive engagement with regulators, we are making the additional changes at the request of the ACM. As we’ve said before, we disagree with ACM’s initial order and are appealing it.

It is important to note that these changes only apply to the Dutch App Store and even then only to dating apps. All other apps, and all international apps, must continue to use the App Store payment systems as before.

About Sandra A. Powell

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