Apple is now fully compliant with a ruling by the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (AMC) requiring it to allow dating apps in the Netherlands to use third-party payment methods, the antitrust regulator said in a statement on Saturday. communicated (via Reuters).
The dispute had been a €50 million (US$52.58 million) sized thorn in Apple’s side for months.
Following an investigation that lasted more than two years, the AMC ruled Apple’s App Store payment policy as anti-competitive in October 2021. Apple announced its intention to comply with the decision of the watchdog in January but has been dragging its feet ever since.
The ACM, in turn, fined Apple millions of dollars after another for failing to fully comply with its order to open the App Store to third-party payment processors for dating apps.
“In the digital economy, powerful companies have a special responsibility to maintain a fair and open market. Apple has avoided this liability and abused its dominant position over dating app providers,” said Martijn Snoep, Chairman of the Board of ACM.
“We are happy that Apple has finally aligned its conditions with European and Dutch competition rules.”
Dating apps in the Netherlands will now be able to opt out of the App Store payment system, which charges Apple a mandatory commission of up to 30% on all app sales and in-app purchases.
Apple said it will still charge a commission on payments handled by third-party processors. However, the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant will give app developers a discount on those transactions.
On Friday, Apple released rules explaining how developers of dating apps offered in the Netherlands can bypass its in-app payment systems.
Apple stated in the updated development guidelines for dating apps in the Netherlands that:
We do not believe that some of these changes are in the interest of our users’ privacy or data security. Because Apple is committed to constructive engagement with regulators, we are making the additional changes at the request of the ACM. As we’ve said before, we disagree with ACM’s initial order and are appealing it.
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