Another regulatory brick in the wall for Apple: The iPhone maker agreed this weekend to changes to its App Store in the Netherlands focused on dating apps, agreeing to allow local developers of dating apps to be able to offer non-Apple based payments (via Reuters).
In December, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) found Apple in breach of national competition rules — ordering it to adjust what it described as “unreasonable conditions” in the App Store that apply to dating app providers.
Apple had been facing the threat of a financial penalty if it failed to make changes by the weekend.
The tech giant went to court to seek an injunction against the order last month, including seeking to prevent the regulator from publishing its decision and applying for a temporary suspension of the order.
However, in a December ruling, the court largely rejected Apple’s arguments — giving the company until January 15 to comply with the order to let dating app providers offer alternative payment options to their users.
“The case concerns the conditions Apple imposes on dating app providers if they want to sell digital content in their apps (such as ‘superlikes’ and ‘boosts’). Those conditions mean, among other things, that payments from consumers must be made to Apple as a so-called commission agent of the dating app providers using certain software (the IAP API) that Apple has built into its iOS operating system. The dating app providers may not use any other payment settlement method and may not refer to another payment method in their apps,” the Rotterdam Court wrote [translated from Dutch using machine translation] at the time.
“With regard to this part of the conditions, the preliminary relief judge follows the position of ACM that with these conditions Apple is abusing its dominant position in the market for app store services for dating app providers. Apple’s arguments that it would not have an economic dominant position and that the conditions are necessary are not successful.”