Thursday, June 30, 2022

Netherlands and Apple Reach External Payments Agreement


Following productive conversations with the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), today we’re introducing additional adjustments to Apple’s plan to comply with the regulator’s order pertaining to dating apps on the App Store in the Netherlands:

In accordance with the ACM’s wishes, we’ve made adjustments to the user interface requirements announced this past March for developers who choose to use either or both of the entitlements.


The 3 percent commission discount also applies to in-app purchases that qualify for a lower commission rate (for example, App Store Small Business Program enrollees or subscription services after one year of paid service — both of which already qualify for a 15% commission).


Apple has changed its unfair conditions, and will now allow different methods of payment in Dutch dating apps. With this concession, Apple will meet the requirements that the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) set under European and Dutch competition rules. Until recently, customers of dating apps 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. ACM forced these changes by imposing an order subject to periodic penalty payments. In the end, the sum of all penalty payments totaled 50 million euros.

I can’t believe the ACM is declaring victory when there’s still a 27% fee to Apple. Who would want to use this entitlement, go through all the extra work it entails, and make it harder for customers to make purchases—to end up paying more in fees?

Florian Mueller:

While a few details have changed lately, the one thing that has not changed is that Apple still charges developers such a high commission for using third-party payment systems that it would be a “net negative” for developers to implement their own payment systems (for payments from Dutch users) in dating apps. That’s because Apple’s commission is only 3% below the App Store commission, and payment services charge roughly that percentage, or potentially even more on small amounts if they have a minimum per-transaction fee.


Again, I don’t blame the ACM for not saying “we lost.” It would be the only honest thing they and Match Group could say in this situation, but for institutional reasons they can’t. However, at least they shouldn’t spout total nonsense. The part about benefits to developers and consumers is a disgrace.

Juli Clover:

Though Apple is making these changes, the company says that it does not believe these updates are “in the best interest” of user privacy or data security, and it is continuing to appeal the original ACM order.


1 Comment RSS · Twitter

Old Unix Geek

Not really related, but this is interesting:

Basically the UK is thinking of forcing Apple to allow other browsers on iOS.

Given how insecure Safari actually is, this might improve the situation:

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