Apple will let dating apps in the Netherlands offer third-party payments

Regulators ordered Apple to open its payment options.

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THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - JUNE 24: The Apple logo hangs outside its store on June 24, 2020 in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo by Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images)
Yuriko Nakao via Getty Images

Apple is once again honoring regulations requiring it to allow alternative payment options in the App Store, although this one is highly specific. As Reuters reports, Apple confirmed it would comply with orders from the Netherlands' Authority for Consumers and Markets forcing it to allow third-party payment systems in Tinder and other locally-offered dating apps. The regulator determined on December 24th that Apple had abused its market power by requiring its in-app purchasing platform, and gave Apple until January 15th to make the change if it wanted to avoid fines.

Like with past decisions, Apple wasn't happy. It contended that allowing third-party options would "compromise the user experience" while posing new privacy and security threats, and reminded developers they (or their payment partners) would be responsible for handling refunds and similar issues. Apple is appealing the ACM's decision and noted it would still take commissions from third-party payments.

The order doesn't affect other apps available in the Netherlands. However, it reflects growing regulatory opposition to Apple's App Store business model in multiple countries, including South Korea and the US. Officials are increasingly convinced Apple is using its in-app purchasing requirement to stifle competition, and it won't be surprising if other countries follow suit before long.

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Apple will let dating apps in the Netherlands offer third-party payments