Apple should let dating apps offer other payment options in the App Store

The Dutch regulator says an image of the article titled Apple should allow dating apps to offer alternative payment options in the App Store

clarification: Chris Delmas / Agence France-Presse (Getty Images)

Apple’s App Store payment policy took another hit in the Netherlands, where the Authority for Consumers and Markets, or ACM, the country’s largest competition regulator, set the rules. Violate Dutch competition law by not allowing dating apps to offer users an offer Alternative payment options.

in a Publication of the decision on Christmas EveHowever, the ACM said the terms that apply to dating app providers — the same as for all developers — are unreasonable. Apple has been ordered to amend its policy and allow dating app developers to offer users other payment options — inside And outside the application. If Apple does not comply with the regulator’s decision within two months, it could face a fine of up to $56.5 million.

ACM originally started looking at Apple’s in-app payment policy in 2019, According to Reuters, due to concerns that it was abusing its dominant market position. The company requires developers to use the in-app payment system – and prevents them from linking or directing users with alternative payment methods –It deducts between 15% and 30% of each purchase. However, over the course of the investigation, the scope was reduced to focus on dating applications.

One of the biggest players in the dating app sector, Match Group, which owns several popular dating apps including Tinder, Plenty of Fish and Hinge, has filed a complaint with the ACM about Apple’s App Store rules, Reuters reported. Match Group alleged that Apple’s policies impede its direct communication with its customers about payments.

In announcing the ACM’s decision, Martijn Snoep, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the regulator, said so Protecting individuals and companies from abuse of market power in the digital economy has been one of the most important duties of the regulator.

“Some app providers rely on the Apple App Store, and Apple takes advantage of that dependence. Snoep said at a statment. That is why Apple has to take the interests of the app providers seriously as well, and set reasonable terms. That’s what we’re forcing Apple to do with this.”

Various countries, including the United States, have recently checked the payment policy of the Apple Store. In September, new South Korea Law It came into effect to prevent Apple and Google from requiring developers to use in-app payment systems.

In the same month, Apple announced an agreement With the Japanese competition regulator on “reader apps” or apps that offer content subscriptionsincluding magazines, newspapers, books, music, and videos. Under this agreement, Apple will allow the developers of these apps to include a single external link to an alternative payment option, such as their own sites.

Meanwhile, in the United States, Apple defends the US App Store’s payment policy epic vs apple Case. The judge in that case, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, Ruled against Apple He said it would have to allow developers to use “external buttons or links” to direct users to alternative payment options outside the App Store. Apple has appealed the decision Grant delay to complyThis means that it is not necessary to give developers the ability to offer alternative payment options yet.

An Apple spokesperson told Gizmodo on Sunday that the App Store is a “safe and reliable place for users” that provides a great business opportunity for all app developers. The spokesperson disputed ACM’s assertion that Apple has a dominant position in the Netherlands He said the company has resume Organizer’s decision.

“We disagree with the order issued by ACM and have lodged an appeal,” the company spokesperson said in an email.. “Apple does not have a dominant position in the software distribution market in the Netherlands, has invested massive resources to help dating app developers reach customers and thrive on the App Store, and has the right under EU and Dutch law to charge the developers of these apps for a fee for all services and technologies provided by Apple to them”.

Gizmodo contacted Match Group on Sunday to request comment on the ACM’s decision but had not received a response at press time. We’ll make sure to update this article if we hear back.

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