The Dutch consumer watchdog Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) is challenging the fees that Apple charges dating app providers in the Netherlands as part of its long-running case against the company over the dominance of its app store, according to a filing seen by Reuters.
Although the case is limited to dating apps in the Netherlands, it is seen as having “potential to set a precedent for other markets,” the article adds. In 2021 fined Apple 50 million euros (about US$53 million) for failure to comply with changes it had ordered to Apple’s app store to end practices it said violated European Union antitrust laws.
Apple deniApparently ed wrongdoing and appealed the fines in a case still before a Rotterdam Court. Apple did agreed to make changes to the app store including opening it to alternative forms of payment for dating apps in the Netherlands. To appease the AMC in June 2022 announced more changes to its App Store rules for dating apps in the Netherlands:
° Developers of dating apps in the Netherlands can use the StoreKit External Purchase Entitlement, the StoreKit External Purchase Link Entitlement, or both entitlements.
° In accordance with the ACM’s wishes, we’ve made adjustments to the user interface requirements announced this past March for developers who choose to use either or both of the entitlements.
° We’ve adjusted the payment processing provider criteria for developers who wish to use either of the entitlements.
° The 3 percent commission discount also applies to in-app purchases that qualify for a lower commission rate (for example, App Store Small Business Program enrollees or subscription services after one year of paid service — both of which already qualify for a 15% commission).
Apparently, those changes aren’t enough. The ACM has said that Apple must adjust its conditions for access to the Dutch App Store for dating-app providers. In the App Store, the ACM wants dating-app providers to be able to use payment systems other than Apple’s payment system. In addition, dating-app providers must have the ability to refer to payment systems outside of the app.