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Apple has updated its developer rules to allow dating apps in the Netherlands to use more third-party payment systems.
According to the newly updated rules, Dutch dating app developers can choose which payment systems they want to use and change the language users see when they pay on the app.
Apple has mandated the use of its in-app payment system, which charges commissions of up to 30%. However, developers like Tinder owner Match Group have argued that the rate is too high for them.
However, Apple has said that dating app developers will still have to pay commissions for sales made outside its in-app payment system, though it will give them a discount.
Last year, the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) ruled that Apple’s rules violated Dutch competition laws in the dating app market and required Apple to allow those developers to use third-party payment processors.
Apple’s failure to allow consumers to pay for dating apps using alternative payment methods resulted in Apple getting fined weekly. Apple claimed that it was complying with the demands of the Dutch watchdog agency and should not be fined.
Apple still believes that these enforced changes are not in the best interests of privacy or data security:
We don’t believe some of these changes are in the best interests of our users’ privacy or data security. Because Apple is committed to constructive engagement with regulators, we’re making the additional changes at the ACM’s request.
As we’ve previously said, we disagree with the ACM’s original order and are appealing it.
Developers of dating apps in the Netherlands can use the StoreKit External Purchase Entitlement, the StoreKit External Purchase Link Entitlement, or both entitlements.
In accordance with the ACM’s wishes, Apple has made adjustments to the user interface requirements announced this past March for developers who choose to use either or both of the entitlements.
Apple has adjusted the payment processing provider criteria for developers who wish to use either 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 enrolees or subscription services after one year of paid service — both of which already qualify for a 15% commission).
Under the new rule, Apple’s system will show users a warning that says the user will have to contact the developer over payment problems, such as asking for a refund.
In a statement, the ACM said,
“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 totalled 50 million euros.”