Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
58,652
22,248


Apple has announced that it will allow third-party payment options for in-app purchases for dating apps in the Netherlands, in the first ever concession of its kind.

iOS-App-Store-General-Feature-JoeBlue.jpg

In a message posted on its developer site late on Friday, Apple announced that it will comply with a Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) ruling that compels the company to allow third-party payment services to pay for in-app purchases in dating apps. Dutch dating apps that link out to or use a third-party in-app payment provider will still need to pay a commission to Apple on transactions.
Recent orders from the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) will allow developers of dating apps on the App Store in the Netherlands to share additional payment processing options with users.

[...]

To comply with the ACM's order, we're introducing two optional new entitlements exclusively applicable to dating apps on the Netherlands App Store that provide additional payment processing options for users. Dating app developers who want to continue using Apple's in-app purchase system may do so and no further action is needed.
To implement third-party payment options in Dutch dating apps, developers will need to use Apple's entitlements, but the company warned developers that this will involve additional responsibilities and pose a number of new risks:
Before considering applying for one of these entitlements, it's important to understand that some App Store features that you may use won't be available to your customers, in part because we cannot validate the security and safety of payments that take place outside of the App Store's private and secure payment system. Because Apple will not be directly aware of purchases made using alternative methods, Apple will not be able to assist users with refunds, purchase history, subscription management, and other issues encountered when purchasing digital goods and services through these alternative purchasing methods. You will be responsible for addressing such issues with customers.
Apple added that it disagrees with the ACM ruling, believes it is "not in our users' best interest," and has appealed the decision to a higher court. Specifically, Apple explained that it is "concerned these changes could compromise the user experience, and create new threats to user privacy and data security."

Apple highlighted the benefits of its own payment system to developers, which continues to be available as an option for developers to use in Dutch dating apps:
Apple designed the App Store to be a safe and trusted place for people to discover and download apps. Apple's in-app purchase system, an integral part of our world-class commerce platform, offers people a private and secure user experience across apps and Apple devices, and makes it easy for them to manage their purchases and subscriptions for digital goods and services.
The order originated from a Dutch investigation started in 2019 that examined whether Apple's business practices amounted to an abuse of market power. The investigation included a complaint from Match Group, the owner of Tinder, which claimed that Apple's rules prevented it from communicating with its customers directly about payments.

The ACM said that Apple imposes "unreasonable conditions" by forbidding user choice about in-app purchase methods. Apple was warned that it had to allow dating apps to offer third-party payment options by Saturday, January 15 or face a fine of up to 50 million euros ($57 million). Apple said that it will provide further information about the mandated changes shortly.

Article Link: Apple to Allow In-App Third-Party Payment Options for First Time in the Netherlands
 
Last edited:

Realityck

macrumors 603
Nov 9, 2015
5,506
7,787
Silicon Valley, CA
Apple will allow third-party payment options for in-app purchases for dating apps in the Netherlands, in the first ever concession of its kind (via Bloomberg). Following a Dutch ruling, Apple has agreed to comply with the demand for third-party payment services to pay for in-app purchases in dating apps. The move will circumvent Apple's 15 to 30 percent commission on in-app purchases.
Interesting it effects only dating apps.

Per the Verge article
This decision doesn’t apply to other app categories, like games or productivity apps, in the country.
Apple wasn't happy either about this.
 
Last edited:

eilavid

macrumors member
Oct 25, 2021
54
408
Safe to say this is a losing battle for Apple (and Google), it is only a matter of time before they have to allow third party payment options for all apps. The real damage and fragmentation will come when Apple is forced to allow third party App Stores.
 
Last edited:

NasserAE

macrumors member
Jan 29, 2009
39
10
The move will circumvent Apple's 15 to 30 percent commission on in-app purchases, but only for app in the dating category.
They will be paying a commission though. Apple says in a linked page:
Consistent with the ACM’s order, dating apps that are granted an entitlement to link out or use a third-party in-app payment provider will pay Apple a commission on transactions. More information on all aspects of the entitlements will be available shortly.
 

lysingur

macrumors 6502a
Dec 30, 2013
508
721
There are streaming apps created by shady companies who ask their cam models to encourage their fans to buy tokens on their official website, in clear violation of Apple's policy. Most of them also make it so if you use Apple Pay, the number of tokens you purchase is about 30 to 40% fewer than if you buy them directly. As if that's not bad enough, the link to buy tokens on their official site will selectively leak your credit card information to scammers, especially if the cards are foreign.

This kind of ruling will let similar scams take place out in the open without the unsuspecting having any kind of recourse in case they are scammed. Most people will be easily led to buy tokens outside of App Store and under the watchful eyes of Apple when developers make the tradeoff skews so much to one side. Except the hidden risk isn't explained to you until it's too late.

The security vs. freedom argument is really a red herring. It's always about finding the right balance between the two. Today it's dating apps. Tomorrow it'll be any app that incurs recurring payments. And before you know it, there is no longer any kind of policing in the App Store and you're out there to fend for yourself against pirates and looters (figuratively speaking).
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 604
Mar 4, 2011
7,542
11,238
NC
Pathetic attempt on apple’s side to circumvent the law.

The Netherlands law (ruling) states Apple must allow third-party payments in dating apps in the Netherlands. So they are.

But there is not a law that eliminates all other commission fees or platform fees.

Apple can still collect a fee from developers of dating apps in the Netherlands.
 
Last edited:

Bokito

macrumors 6502
May 29, 2007
272
1,006
Netherlands
The Netherlands law states Apple must allow third-party payments in dating apps in the Netherlands. So they are.

But there is not a law that eliminates all other commission fees or platform fees.

There is now law that explicitly states this. There are no such laws currently in the Netherlands.

The consumer authorities’ ruling is about protecting the consumer. They found that this ruling is in the consumer’s best interest. That it only affects dating apps is because that industry complained.
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 604
Mar 4, 2011
7,542
11,238
NC
There is no law that explicitly states this. There are no such laws currently in the Netherlands.

I just used the word "law" because that's what the comment I replied to said. But you're right. It's a ruling... not a law. ?

The consumer authorities’ ruling is about protecting the consumer. They found that this ruling is in the consumer’s best interest. That it only affects dating apps is because that industry complained.

So the consumer is "protected" if they click a different button to make a payment on some other screen or web page?

Alright.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

metapunk2077fail

macrumors 6502a
Oct 31, 2021
634
838
Safe to say this is a losing battle for Apple (and Google), it is only a matter of time before they have to allow third party payment options for all apps. The real damage and fragmentation will come when Apple is forced to allow third party App Stores.

The real damage will come to users who accidentally download a clone app or scam app that takes all their money and disappears. There will be no chance for a user to get support.

Then when people protest the ugly truth about who has badly advised or bribed politicians will come to light.
 

LeeW

macrumors 68040
Feb 5, 2017
3,384
6,916
Over here
Consumer choice is good, I don't think as many believe that this will mean it makes the cost of apps cheaper, App providers will just say they need to charge the same because of their costs and so on.

For me I will continue to pay through the Apple store, I prefer that simplicity instead of managing many different payment options and the tracking that involves along with the difficulty in cancelling.
 

BootsWalking

macrumors 68020
Feb 1, 2014
2,182
13,698
The move will circumvent Apple's 15 to 30 percent commission on in-app purchases...Apple added that it disagrees with the ACM ruling, believes it is "not in our users' best interest"

Speaking as a user, I consider a potential 15% to 30% reduction in IAP prices charged by apps to be in my best interest.
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 604
Mar 4, 2011
7,542
11,238
NC
The move will circumvent Apple's 15 to 30 percent commission on in-app purchases...Apple added that it disagrees with the ACM ruling, believes it is "not in our users' best interest"

Speaking as a user, I consider a potential 15% to 30% reduction in IAP prices charged by a developer to be in my best interest.

That's only if the developers lower the price. It's the developers who set the price that you see and that you pay.

I'd imagine most developers would still charge the same for IAP items even if they had the commission fees lowered.

But I'm happy to be wrong.

:p
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 604
Mar 4, 2011
7,542
11,238
NC
That they can do this shows they are a monopoly that requires governments to stop them.

So what's the actual issue here?

Is 15%, 27%, or 30% too high? Is anything higher than 0% too high in your mind? Should platforms be forbidden to collect any platform fees or commission fees? At all?

What exactly do you want governments to "stop" here?
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.