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Apple faces €5 million weekly fine for lacking payment options in Dutch dating apps

The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets will fine Apple €5 million every week so long as it continues to prevent dating apps from freely using non-Apple payment systems.
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Written by Campbell Kwan, Journalist on
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Image: Shutterstock

The Netherlands' consumer watchdog has fined Apple €5 million for failing to make sufficient changes to its App Store policies, which were found to be anticompetitive towards dating app providers.

After making this finding in August last year, the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) issued an order for Apple to update its app store policies so dating app providers could use payment systems other than Apple's one.

Last week, Apple made updates to its app store policies in response to the order, but the ACM has since found those changes to be unsatisfactory.

According to the ACM, Apple has continued to prevent dating app providers from being able to freely use payment systems other than Apple's own system.

"At the moment, dating app providers can merely express their 'interest'. In addition, Apple has raised several barriers for dating app providers to the use of third-party payment systems," ACM said in a statement.

The ACM explained that Apple's updated policies still require dating apps to get permission from the App Store before being able to point to third-party payment systems.

It added that Apple has continued to only allow developers to either offer a third-party in-app payment system or directing users to outside payment systems, with developers unable to provide both options.

"That is not allowed," the ACM said.

In light of these findings, the ACM has fined Apple €5 million and ordered the company to resolve these issues within a week. If Apple misses that deadline, it will be fined an additional €5 million for every week it continues to fail to meet the ACM's standards up to a maximum of €50 million, the watchdog said.

Last week, Epic Games once again asserted that the App Store is a monopoly, submitting court documents accusing Apple of excluding competitors from iOS app distribution and in-app payment solutions for digital content to gain more market share.

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