Apple’s payment policy in the App Store has just dealt another blow in the Netherlands, where the Consumer and Markets Authority, or ACM, the country’s largest competition regulator, has set the rules violated Dutch competition law by not allowing user dating apps alternative payment options.
U decision announced on Christmas Eve, ACM said the conditions that apply to dating app vendors – which are the same for all developers – were unreasonable. He ordered Apple to correct its policy and allow dating app developers to offer users other payment options – from within i 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 began reviewing Apple’s payment policy within the 2019 app. according to Reuters, due to concerns that it is abusing its dominant position in the market. The company requires developers to use their in-app payment system – forbidding them to link or direct users to alternative payment methods –and takes between 15% and 30% of each purchase. However, during the investigation, the scope was reduced to focusing on dating applications.
One of the biggest players in the dating app sector, Match Group, which owns several popular meeting apps, including Tinder, Plenty of Fish and Hinge, has filed a complaint with the ACM over Apple’s App Store policies. Reuters reported. Match Group claimed that Apple’s policy interferes with its direct communication with its customers about payments.
In announcing the ACM decision, Martijn Snoep, chairman of the board of regulators, said yes protecting people and businesses from the abuse of market power in the digital economy has been one of the most important duties of regulators.
“Some app vendors depend on Apple’s App Store, and Apple uses that dependency. “Apple has special responsibilities because of its dominant position,” Snoep said statement. “That is why Apple must take the interests of application providers seriously and set reasonable conditions. That’s what we’re forcing Apple to do with this order. “
Various countries, including the United States, have recently been researching Apple’s App Store payment policy. In September, new South Korean law entered into force that Apple and Google prohibit requiring developers to use their payment systems within applications.
The same month, Apple announced agreement with the Japanese competition regulator regarding “reading apps” or apps that offer content subscriptions, including magazines, newspapers, books, music and videos. Under the agreement, Apple will allow developers of these applications to include one external link to an alternative payment option, such as their own website.
In the US, meanwhile, Apple is defending its payment policy in the App Store Epic v. Apple case. The judge in that case, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, ruled against Apple and said it would have to allow developers to use “buttons or external links” to direct users to alternative payment options outside the App Store. Apple appealed the decision and it was approved delay for compliance, which means it still doesn’t have to give developers the option to offer alternative payment options.
An Apple spokesman told Gizmodo on Sunday that the App Store is a “safe and reliable place for users” that offers a great business opportunity for all app developers. A spokesman rejected the ACM’s claim that Apple has a dominant position in the Netherlands and said the company has he complained regulator decision.
“We do not agree with the order issued by the ACM and we have filed an appeal,” a company spokesman said in an email.. “Apple does not have a dominant position in the software distribution market in the Netherlands, has invested heavily in helping meeting app developers reach customers and thrive on the App Store, and is entitled under EU and Dutch law to charge developers for these apps. applications for a fee for all services and technologies provided by Apple. “
Gizmodo contacted Match Group on Sunday to seek comment on the ACM’s decision, but did not receive a response by the time it was released. We will make sure to update this article if we receive a response.
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