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dating apps – The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) and Apple have been discussing the policy around dating apps in the App Store for months. The tech giant is now finally complying with the rules, but a lot preceded it.

The case began in December. Apple was then reprimanded by the ACM, because dating apps could only use Apple’s payment systems and not those of other companies.

It concerns dating apps such as Tinder, Lexa and Bumble. For example, if users of those apps subscribe, the payment will be processed by Apple.

The makers of those apps want other parties to be able to process payments within Apple’s mobile operating system iOS. With that, they also hope to be cheaper, because Apple asks 30 percent commission on those payments.


Apple was given two months by ACM to adjust the conditions, so that consumers can pay not only via Apple’s payment system, but also via other systems.

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Providers also had to be given the opportunity to refer to payment options outside the app in their dating app.

Adjustments did not meet requirements

The tech giant made the use of alternative payment systems possible, but the new policy still did not meet the requirements of the ACM. Too many barriers were still raised to pay via alternative payment systems, the regulator found. That is why Apple had to pay a penalty of 5 million euros.

That amount went up. Every week that the policy did not meet the requirements, 5 million euros were added, up to a maximum of 50 million euros. That maximum was reached at the end of March.


Apple then said in a letter that the case might have to be fought out in court. ACM did not seem to rule this out either. “It appears that Apple is not going to make any changes to the proposals to meet the requirements,” a spokesman said.

Apple still appeals

After that it remained quiet for some time. Until the ACM announced on Friday that Apple has again adjusted its policy. Dating app developers in the Netherlands now get the option to opt for an alternative payment method in combination with Apple’s in-app purchases.

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That may seem to be the end of the matter, but not if it is up to Apple. The company wrote in a statement last week that “a number of adjustments are not in the interest of the privacy and data security of users”.

The tech giant is therefore appealing against the adjustment. The fine of 50 million euros remains despite the new adjustments.


Apple and ACM have been bickering about dating apps for months, but it’s not done yet


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