Apple tweaks third-party dating app payment rules to comply with Dutch regulator's order

But it still disagrees with the regulator and is appealing the use of third-party payment systems.

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Mariella Moon
June 11, 2022 11:51 AM
In this article: iOS, news, gear, Netherlands, Apple, dating apps
Close-up of a female using a dating app on smart phone. Woman looking at man on an online dating app on her mobile phone.
Luis Alvarez via Getty Images

Apple has announced a handful of changes to its rules related to dating app payments in order to comply with orders from the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). If you'll recall, the regulator had ordered the tech giant to allow third-party payments in locally available dating apps by January this year. A Reuters report from March said the company had yet to adhere to the orders in a way that truly complies with what the regulator wanted, though — until now, that is.

In its announcement, Apple said it has made adjustments to the user interface for third-party payments. As part of its efforts to comply with the ACM, it started showing a warning whenever someone tries to pay with a third-party payment option, warning them that they'll have to contact the developer for a refund. As Reuters notes, that warning originally came with a button that made it easy to back out of using an external payment system. The ACM reportedly didn't approve of that button, so Apple had to remove it. 

Apple also clarified in its post that even developers already paying lower cuts are entitled to the discounted commission rates it takes from third-party payments. Back when the company said it was going to comply with the ACM's demands, it revealed that developers paying a 30 percent cut would only be charged 27 percent. It wasn't clear, however, whether developers already paying lower rates for meeting certain criteria, such as earning less than a million a year, will also get to enjoy the 3 percent discount. Apple has clarified in its announcement that they will indeed pay lower commissions for third-party payments, so those only being charged 15 percent will only have to hand over 12 percent to the company. 

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In a statement posted on its website, the ACM said that with these changes, "Apple will meet the requirements that the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) set under European and Dutch competition rules." The regulator also revealed that Apple had to pay fines totaling €50 million for failing to satisfy the ACM's conditions for compliance over the past few months. Apple said, however, that it doesn't believe some of the changes it had to implement are in the best interests of its users' privacy or data security. "As we've previously said," the company added, "we disagree with the ACM's original order and are appealing it."

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