Apple should allow dating apps to use alternative payment systems

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Providers of dating apps in Apple’s Dutch App Store should also be able to use payment systems other than Apple’s payment system. That’s what the ACM demands from Apple. These providers are not allowed this of the conditions now. The ACM threatens with a penalty of up to 50 million euros.

The Dutch consumer & market Authority believes that Apple now applies ‘unreasonable’ conditions in the App Store, because dating app providers do not have free choice in terms of payment systems for purchases that consumers make in the apps. They are now only allowed to use Apple’s payment systems and must pay part of the revenue to Apple. In addition, they have to pay $ 99 a year to be on the App Store, says the ACM.

The ACM says that these conditions are ‘in no proportion to the additional payment service provided’ and that they are not necessary to maintain the App Store. According to the watchdog, these conditions are therefore unreasonable and contrary to competition rules.

Apple requires the ACM to adjust these App Store terms, allowing dating app providers to use other payment systems as well. App providers should also be given the option to be able to refer to payment options outside the app in their dating app. Apple is given two months. If nothing has changed after that, Apple must pay a penalty of 5 million euros per week, with a maximum of 50 million euros.

Apple’s payment system terms are under pressure in more countries. For example, a US judge last month required Apple to allow links to alternative payment systems, something that was later reversed. These conditions are also being considered in India, Russia and South Korea.

What is striking about the message from the ACM is that it is specifically about dating apps. An ACM spokesperson told Tweakers that there has been research into Apple’s App Store policies and impact on the market in recent years. This would have revealed that dating app providers experience the most burden of these terms. This is where most of the complaints came from, the spokesman said. Therefore, the ACM first looked at these providers. Whether other app providers will be looked at later is not clear. “We will first see how this goes,” said the spokesman.

Apple said in a response to Tweakers disagree with the ACM’s demand and appeal. “Apple has no dominant position in the Dutch software distribution market. In addition, we have invested heavily in helping dating app developers reach customers and thrive in the Dutch market. Under EU and Dutch law, we also have the right to charge these providers for all services and technologies that Apple offers them.”

About the author

Nicholas de Kramer

Nicholas de Krammer, а self-taught economic analytic with heave mathematical background. Math behind the economics (and economics behind math) is the strong side of the author. Contact him at [email protected]

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