Apple will allow Dutch dating apps to use other payment options within existing apps

To put an end to the row with the Dutch regulators that has been going on for the last few months, Apple started today has released a new version of its App Store Rules enabling local dating apps to accept payments through third party processors. So far, his proposals to comply with a December ruling mandating the change have not been satisfied Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) and fined Apple 50 million euros.

Apple previously announced that it would allow dating apps to use alternative payment systems, but it placed various conditions on how they could do so. Developers would have to submit a separate app binary for the Dutch App Store and would have to choose between using the in-app payment system or a third-party version instead of being able to offer both in the same app. And most importantly, it said it intended to collect a 27 percent commission on payments made with alternative payment systems.

Now Apple is abandoning its insistence on a separate binary for apps that see external payment systems. According to Apple, “This change means that developers can include both permissions in their existing dating app, but still have to limit their use to the app on the Dutch storefront and on devices running iOS or iPadOS.” It also provides more details on how to evaluate Non-Apple payment system providers and examples of the pages apps must present to customers to inform them that they will be interacting with a third-party payment service.

Example screen for an alternative payment processor

Image: apple

The company has consistently opposed the ACM order, which Apple says will result in threats to users’ privacy and data security. As Apple’s developer post still says, “We disagree with the ACM’s original order and are appealing it.” Meanwhile, Apple will continue to insist on charging that 27 percent commission on transactions for apps that have a Link or use third-party payment system.

In accordance with the ACM’s order, dating apps that are granted permission to link or use a third-party in-app payment provider pay Apple a commission on transactions. Apple charges a 27% commission on the price paid by the user, excluding VAT. This is a reduced rate that excludes values ​​related to payment processing and related activities. Developers are responsible for collecting and remitting all applicable taxes, such as B. Dutch Value Added Tax (VAT), responsible for sales processed by an external payment provider.

Developers using these permissions must provide Apple with a report that records each sale of digital goods and content facilitated through the App Store. This report must be provided monthly within 15 calendar days of the end of the Apple fiscal month. To learn more about the details that need to be included in the report, see a sample report. Eligible Developers will receive an invoice based on the report and must remit payment for the invoice amount to Apple within 45 days of the end of Apple’s fiscal month. If Apple develops technical solutions to facilitate reporting in the future, developers will have to adopt such technologies.

The AKM said Monday that his next step is to submit the directive to “market participants for consultation”. If they accept the terms, Apple can avoid escalating the fines.

The dispute with the Dutch competition authority is of limited scope and concerns only one type of software in the App Store. But it’s part of a wave of antitrust investigations Apple is facing around the world. those of the EU Digital Markets Act could require support for external payment processors in all apps after coming into effect this fall, while South Korea recently passed a similar law. Apple’s in-app payment system has been the center of attention recently high-profile court battle with Epic Gameseventually leading to a US judge Direct Apple to allow developers to link to other payment options. The order was then put on ice pending appeal.

Update March 30th 6:15pm ET: Added additional context. Apple will allow Dutch dating apps to use other payment options within existing apps

Fry Electronics Team

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