A dutch antitrust regulator is investigating Apple once again on whether it has done enough to satisfy the requirements set by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) regarding offering alternate payment systems for Dutch dating app providers after the tech giant said it would still require developers to pay a 27% commission for using a third-party payment system.
Apple’s revised Dutch dating app payment measures under review
On February 4, Apple revealed that it would charge a 27% commission fee for developers using alternative payment methods for Dutch dating apps in place of its in-app purchase system in the Netherlands. The ACM is now investigating if Apple’s new measure complies with its order.
Under Apple’s latest measure, developers would be able to use allowed to use a third-party payment system within the app or include an in-app link directing users to the developer’s website to complete a purchase. If developers choose to use third-party payment systems in their apps or use a website, they would be responsible for “refunds, purchase history, subscription management” and the collection and remittance of any applicable taxes.
Developers would also be required to report their sales to the Cupertino tech giant. Failure to do so could result in removal from the App Store or the Apple Developer program entirely.
In January, 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 Dutch dating apps. Apple had until January 15 to provide dating app developers with alternate payment methods.
On January 25, 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). At the time, Apple’s support page said it would be “introducing two optional new entitlements exclusively applicable to dating apps on the Netherlands App Store that provide additional payment processing options,” but they were not available to use.
The ACM said 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.”
The ACM told Reuters on February 7 that it was looking at the tech giant’s changes to decide if it now complies with the rules. Later on the same day, the regulator fined Apple another $5.7 million. The tech giant will continue to be charged the same amount weekly until it is found to be in compliance with the ACM’s order.