After a series of hefty fines, the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) in the Netherlands has accepted that Apple’s App Store concessions are adequate in the dating app dispute. Previously, the iPhone maker paid 50 million euros ($52.58 million) in fines because the ACM believed App Store rules didn’t allow dating app developers to accept payments from billing systems other than the one built into the App Store.
In a statement about the matter, the ACM said Apple has agreed to allow different payment methods in dating apps distributed in the Netherlands. With this, Apple now meets the regulator’s requirements set according to the EU and Dutch competition rules. The ACM added that it “no longer needs to impose a new order subject to periodic penalty payments.”
“Over the past few months, ACM had collected information from dating-app providers and independent experts before its assessment that Apple complied with the order.”
“Until recently, customers of dating app customers had only been able to pay using the payment method that Apple imposed. In ACM’s opinion, Apple abused its dominant position with those practices. From now on, dating-app providers are able to let their customers pay in different ways.”
To recall, Apple first came under the ACM’s scanner in December last year when the regulator announced that dating apps should be allowed to accept payments for in-app purchases (IAPs) through alternative payment methods. However, Apple delayed compliance by several weeks, due to which it racked up fines that totaled 50 million euros.
Apple’s compliance plans were deemed “inadequate” initially. Later the company agreed to let developers accept payments, but it didn’t offer any benefit by reducing the 30 percent commission on App Store earnings. Additionally, it mandated that dating apps use a separate app binary for the Netherlands. The ACM called this requirement “unreasonable.”
On June 10, Apple announced other changes to its policies. However, it stressed that it didn’t believe the changes would be in the “best interest” of user privacy. The company continues to appeal the ACM’s original order.[Via Reuters]