App Store, fine in the Netherlands for alternative payments

The Dutch Antitrust has announced that it has not considered Apple’s openings regarding alternative parliamentary methods for dating apps in the App Store sufficient, and that consequently the Cupertino giant will have to pay a fee. fine of 5 million euros. If the situation is not resolved, the fine will reappear, with the same amount, every week, up to a maximum of 50 million.

The order from the Authority for Consumer & Markets (ACM) arrived last summer, but was only made public on December 24th. It said dating apps must undergo “unreasonable” conditions to remain in the App Store – or that all payments had to go through Apple, which withholds the famous commissions from each. It’s not perfectly clear why the authority has a particular interest in dating apps, in the sense that the conditions are the same for the other categories as well.

In any case, the order was clear: Apple needs to allow this type of app to offer alternative payment methods, and it needs to allow these payment methods to be easily accessible within the apps themselves. On January 15, Apple had announced through its own press release plan to adhere to the new rules: the developers should have created a new version of the app that would have been made available only in the Dutch App Store, and which in any case would have applied a commission (it is not known how much) even in the case of payments through external platforms.

The special version of the app is required to approve two extraordinary permits created ad hoc, called StoreKit External Purchase Entitlement and StoreKit External Link Entitlement. Developers are also required to provide links to the assistance and support services of each external payment method. Apple has also got its hands on it by stating that none of these transactions will be able to help customers with refunds, payment history, subscription management and other related matters.

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In short, it is clear that Apple is doing the minimum wage to satisfy the Dutch demands while trying to make the option as less attractive to developers as possible. And in fact the ACM makes explicit reference to the “barriers” created by Apple that are not allowed. At this point the ball went to Apple.