Apple will allow Dutch dating apps to use other payment options in existing apps
To help end the wrangling with Dutch regulators that has dragged on over the past few months, today Apple released a new version of its App Store Rules that allow local dating apps to accept payments through third-party processors. So far, its proposals to comply with a December decision imposing the change have not satisfied the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) and earned Apple a fine of 50 million euros.
Apple previously announced that it would allow dating apps to use alternative payment systems, but it imposed various conditions on how they could do so. Developers would have to submit a separate app binary for the Dutch App Store and would have to choose between using its in-app payment system or a third-party version, rather than being able to offer both in the same app. And most notably, he said he intended to earn a 27% commission on payments made using alternative payment systems.
Now Apple is backing away from its insistence on a separate binary for apps that see outside payment systems. According to Apple, “This change means that developers can include either right in their existing dating app, but must still limit its use to the app in the Netherlands storefront and on devices running iOS. or iPadOS.” He also presented more details on how to evaluate non-Apple payment system providers and examples of pages that applications should present to customers to inform them that they are about to interact with a payment service. non-Apple payment.
The company has always maintained its opposition to the ACM order, which Apple says will lead to threats to user privacy and data security. As Apple’s message to developers further states, “We disagree with ACM’s original order and are appealing it.” In the meantime, Apple will still insist on collecting this 27% commission on transactions for applications linked or using a third-party payment system.
Per the ACM order, dating apps that have the right to connect or use a third-party integrated payment provider will pay Apple a commission on transactions. Apple will take a 27% commission on the price paid by the user, excluding value added taxes. This is a discounted rate that excludes value related to payment processing and related activities. Developers will be responsible for collecting and remitting all applicable taxes, such as Netherlands Value Added Tax (VAT), for sales processed through a third-party payment provider.
Developers using these rights will be required to provide a report to Apple recording each sale of digital goods and content that has been facilitated through the App Store. This report must be provided monthly within 15 calendar days of the end of Apple’s fiscal month. To learn more about the details that will need to be included in the report, see a sample report. Qualified Developers will receive an invoice based on the reports and must pay Apple the invoiced amount within 45 days of the end of Apple’s fiscal month. In the future, if Apple develops technical solutions to facilitate reporting, developers will be required to adopt such technologies.
ACM said on Monday that his next step is to present the policy to “market participants for consultation”. If they agree to the terms, Apple can avoid escalating fines.
The dispute with the Dutch competition regulator is limited in scope and concerns only one type of software on the App Store. But it’s part of a wave of antitrust scrutiny Apple is facing around the world. The EU’s Digital Markets Act could require support for external payment processors in all apps after it comes into force this fall, while South Korea recently passed a similar law. Apple’s in-app payment system was the subject of a recent high-profile court battle with Epic Games, which ultimately resulted in a US judge ordering Apple to allow developers to connect to other payment options. The order was then stayed pending appeal.
Updated March 30, 6:15 p.m. ET: Added additional context.