Apple's bid to quell dating app concerns earns another €5 million fine from Dutch regulator

The dating app standoff between Apple and the Netherlands' consumer watchdog continues.
Written by Campbell Kwan, Contributor
Image: Shutterstock

Apple's latest attempt to resolve its dating app dispute with the Netherlands' consumer watchdog has fallen short, resulting in its fine total for this matter rising to €20 million.

Last week, Apple revised its app store policies in an effort to adhere to an Authority for Consumers and Markets' (ACM) order for the iPhone maker to update its app store policies so dating app providers could use payment systems other than the one offered by Apple.

The changes entailed Apple providing an option for dating app providers to use either a third-party payment system within the app or include an in-app link directing users to the developer's website to complete a purchase.

To use either option, however, developers would need to submit a separate app binary solely on an app's Dutch storefront and report external sales back to Apple to enable a third-party payments system.

The ACM concluded that this is unreasonable and creates an unnecessary barrier for using third-party payment systems.

"The new conditions stipulate that dating-app providers must develop a completely new app if they wish to use an alternative payment system," ACM said in a statement.

"ACM finds this to be an unreasonable condition that is at odds with the requirements that Apple had set out."

It added there are also doubts about "several other elements" within Apple's latest app store changes that were imposed onto dating app providers.

With the ACM still unsatisfied with Apple's app store updates, the regulator subsequently slapped Apple with another €5 million fine. Per the penalty's conditions, the company will be fined €5 million for every week it continues to not meet the ACM's standards.

It's now the fourth weekly fine since the penalty was levied, bringing its total to €20 million. Apple could potentially be fined €50 million, with the penalty being capped at that amount.

Apple has previously said it would try to comply with the ACM's orders and fines, but that it would simultaneously appeal the ACM's decision. 


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