For the tenth week, the Dutch watchdog has fined Apple over the lack of third-party payment options for dating apps subscriptions. This time, the Authority for Consumers and Markets could finally swipe right to Apple as it’s reached the $55 million penalties for ongoing non-compliance.
As reported by TechCrunch, this time the ACM is “sounding more positive after Apple adjusted its most recent offer saying the amended proposal ‘should result in definitive conditions for dating-app providers’.”
In a statement today, the Dutch regulator said: “ACM welcomes Apple’s current step. The adjusted proposal should result in definitive conditions for dating-app providers that wish to use the App Store. Once the proposal for definitive conditions has been received, ACM will submit it to market participants for consultation. ACM will then as soon as possible hand down its decision whether Apple, when implementing those definitive conditions, is in compliance with ACM’s requirement that alternative methods of payment should be possible in dating apps.”
“Until last weekend, Apple still had not met ACM’s requirements. That is why it has to pay a tenth penalty payment, which means that Apple must pay the maximum penalty of €50 million,” it added. “If ACM comes to the conclusion that Apple does not meet the requirements, ACM may impose another order subject to periodic penalty payments (with possibly higher penalties this time around) in order to stimulate Apple to comply with the order.
That said, by the beginning of February, Apple had provided some details about how it would allow dating apps in the Netherlands to offer alternative payment systems – which the Dutch watchdog didn’t find enough.
Here’s what 9to5Mac‘s Benjamin Mayo reported back then:
The biggest tidbit from this is the reveal of the ‘reduced’ commission structure. Apple typically charges 30% commission on purchases made using its In-App Purchase system. The commission levied on alternative payment systems has been set at … 27%, net of tax.
Dating apps in the Netherlands can choose to offer alternative payment systems by linking out to a website, or using a native in-app flow. Apps wanting to take advantage of this functionality must include special entitlements in their app binary and call an Apple API before redirecting the user, that presents a modal sheet that tells a customer they are being directed to a non-Apple payments service.
Now, we’ll have to wait and see how Apple will respond and whether the Dutch watchdog will be satisfied with the company’s offers. 9to5Mac will report back whether it’s a match or not.
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