Apple Complies with Ruling to Allow Other Payment Options in the Netherlands

Apple announced late last week dating apps in the Netherlands will be able to directly offer third-party payment options to their users.

The move represents compliance with a December order from the country’s Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), which determined Apple was violating competition laws by binding dating app developers, including Tinder owner Match Group Inc., to exclusively use the App Store payment system.

Apple requires developers to use the App Store payment system, which nets the iPhone maker a 15-30% commission on all app sales and in-app purchases made. This practice has come under intense scrutiny as of late, with lawmakers, government regulators, and consumer groups across the globe probing into it and hitting Apple with lawsuits.

Following an investigation that dragged on for over two years, the Dutch antitrust authority back in October deemed Apple’s App Store payment policy to be anti-competitive. The ACM last month ordered the Cupertino, California-based tech giant to let developers of dating apps use non-Apple payment systems by January 15 or face $56.6 Million USD in fines.

In a post on its developers’ blog on January 14, Apple said it would comply with the decision and introduce “two optional new entitlements exclusively applicable to dating apps on the Netherlands App Store that provide additional payment processing options for users.”

Apple went on to note that developers were not required to use third-party tools, and warned that the company would not be able to help with safety or refunds of payments that are processed by alternative systems as it will “not be directly aware of them.”

Apple is currently in the process of appealing the Dutch watchdog’s decision.

“We’re concerned these changes could compromise the user experience, and create new threats to user privacy and data security. In the meantime, we are obligated to make the mandated changes which we’re launching today and we will provide further information shortly,” said Apple.

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