Apple fined $5.6M after failing to comply with Dutch dating app antitrust order

Apple has failed to satisfy the requirements set by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) regarding offering alternate payment systems for dating-app providers. As a consequence, the company is now being fined 5 million euros ($5.6 million).

Apple App Store


Apple fined $5.6M by Dutch watchdog

On January 15, Apple announced on its developer website that it would be complying with a new requirement by the ACM and allow third-party payment options for dating apps. The date has passed now and the ACM believes the Cupertino tech giant has failed to abide by the order.

Apple had until January 15 to provide dating app developers with alternate payment methods. The company allowed developers to add an in-app link to a third-party website to complete purchases and offered the option to use a third-party payment system. Developers who wanted to stick to Apple’s in-app purchase system without making any changes could do so, however, they were required to pay a 30% of 15% commission fee, based on their eligibility.

On Monday, the ACM announced Apple had “failed to satisfy the requirements” of its order. The tech giant was subsequently charged an initial fine of 5 million euros ($5.6 million). If it fails to comply with the order, it will be charged the same amount every week, up to a maximum of 50 million euros ($56 million).

The ACM says Apple failed to satisfy its conditions “on several points,” with the biggest one being that the company has “failed to adjust its conditions, as a result of which dating-app providers are still unable to use other payment systems.” Currently, Apple’s support page says it is “introducing two optional new entitlements exclusively applicable to dating apps on the Netherlands App Store that provide additional payment processing options,” but they are not available to use at the moment.

In addition, Apple has raised several barriers for dating-app providers to the use of third-party payment systems. That, too, is at odds with ACM’s requirements. For example, Apple seemingly forces app providers to make a choice: either refer to payment systems outside of the app or to an alternative payment system. That is not allowed. Providers must be able to choose both options.

The ACM has contacted Apple to remind the company that it is “still obligated to act in accordance with said order” or face the recurring fine.

About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.