Apple fined $5.6 million for not complying with Dutch dating app order

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has fined Apple €5 million for failing to comply with requirements in an order requiring it to let dating app providers use third-party payment systems in their apps.

In December 2021, the ACM released a ruling requiring Apple to allow dating apps to use payment systems other than Apple’s payment system. Last week, Apple announced that it will allow dating apps to offer alternate in-app payment options on the Netherlands App Store in order to comply with the ruling. 

The company said in a blog post that it is introducing two optional new entitlements exclusively applicable to dating apps on the Netherlands App Store that provide additional payment processing options for users. Apple says, dating apps on the Netherlands App Store can include an in-app link directing users to a website or add a third-party payment system within a dating app on the Netherlands storefront.

The ACM said yesterday that Apple failed to satisfy the requirements on several points.

“The most important one is that Apple has failed to adjust its conditions, as a result of which dating-app providers are still unable to use other payment systems. At the moment, dating-app providers can merely express their ‘interest’. 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 Netherlands’ competition authority explained

The ACM said Apple is still obligated to act in accordance with that order. If it fails to do so, Apple will have to pay fines from €5 million to a maximum of €50 million each week.

Written by Jordan Bevan


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