Friday, February 18, 2022

Dutch ACM Wants Existing Apps to Support External Payments

ACM (Hacker News):

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets has concluded that the revised conditions that Apple has imposed on dating-app providers are unreasonable, and create an unnecessary barrier. The new conditions stipulate that dating-app providers must develop a completely new app if they wish to use an alternative payment system. Apple has informed ACM about these new conditions. App providers cannot adjust their existing apps. ACM finds this to be an unreasonable condition that is at odds with the requirements that Apple had set out. ACM is of the opinion that, as such, Apple still does not comply with ACM’s requirements. Apple must therefore pay another 5 million euros. The total of all penalty payments currently stands at 20 million euros.

Jon Porter:

The revenue Apple gains through in-app purchases from dating apps in the Netherlands is likely to make up an insignificant fraction of its global takings. But the dispute is significant for the early precedent it could set amidst an international wave of scrutiny over Apple’s App Store policies.


Interestingly, the ACM’s notice posted today doesn’t specifically mention Apple’s intention to collect a 27 percent commission on in-app payments made through alternative payment systems.

Apple previously failed to meet the ACM’s deadline for changing its policy, which saw it liable for a weekly fine of €5 million (around $5.7 million) until it complied.

Joe Rossignol:

The ACM will continue to fine Apple five million euros per week, up to a maximum of 50 million euros, until it feels the company has fully complied with the order.

Florian Mueller:

If the alternative payment option saved end users a significant amount of money, I’m quite sure the transition would work (and would be worth developers’ while).


It strikes me as odd that the ACM does not describe those [other] issues even at a high level. Why aren’t they being more transparent?


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