Dutch Regulators to Meet With Dating App Providers to Assess Apple’s Plan for Alternate In-App Payment Options

The Netherlands’ Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) intends to evaluate Apple’s reported plans to allow dating apps on the country’s App Store to use third-party payment methods, ensuring that those plans “meet the standards” of a prior order.

Dutch Regulators to Meet With Dating App Providers to Assess Apple's Plan for Alternate In-App Payment Options

Apple said over the weekend that it will only allow dating applications on the Dutch App Store to use third-party payment methods for in-app purchases. This is the first regulatory modification for Apple, which previously required all developers globally to utilise its own system for all in-app purchases.

Apple’s concessions come in response to the ACM’s December finding that Apple is participating in “abuse of market dominance” by preventing dating applications from using third-party payment methods. If Apple does not adjust its policy, the ACM has threatened to punish it up to 50 million euros per week.

According to a news release, now that Apple has made adjustments, the ACM wants to review whether those changes meet the conditions of its previous judgement. The ACM will meet with dating app providers, such as The Match Group, which owns Tinder, as part of its investigation into the modifications to verify Apple’s measures adequately address concerns.

While Apple will allow third-party payment methods to be used by dating apps in the Netherlands, there are certain restrictions. Importantly, Apple will continue to get a commission even for transactions made outside of the App Store’s in-app purchasing system, but Apple has yet to announce the amount of that commission.

If developers choose to offer additional in-app purchase options, they will also be obliged to maintain distinct software binaries for distribution in the Netherlands.

In terms of user experience, Apple warns that utilising third-party payment methods may greatly complicate the process of demanding a refund, managing subscriptions, seeing purchase history, and other tasks.

Because Apple will not be immediately aware of purchases made through alternative methods, Apple will be unable to assist users with refunds, purchase history, subscription management, and other difficulties that may arise when purchasing digital goods and services through these alternative methods. You will be in charge of dealing with such concerns with clients.

Apple said it plans to appeal the ACM’s ruling and has expressed concern that the order “could compromise the user experience, and create new threats to user privacy and data security.”

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