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Apple's resolution of the Dutch App Store dispute earned it another €5 million fine

Apple's resolution of the Dutch App Store dispute earned it another €5 million fine

Apple's new proposals for dating apps in the Netherlands haven't gone far enough to appease the country's competition regulator, which just announced it is fining the company €5 million (about $5.6 million). It is the fourth weekly fine imposed against the company, which brings the total to €20 million (about $22.6 million), and these fines are set to continue weekly, while the Consumer and Markets Authority (ACM) thinks Apple will continue with its fines. Will continue with following failed orders. ,

The ACM's order, which was made public in late December, says that Apple should allow dating app developers -- and only dating app developers -- to use options for Apple's in-app payment system in the country. Apple first announced its intention to comply with the order in mid-January and fully detailed its plans earlier this month.

But the ACM is not happy with the specifics of Apple's proposals, saying that "the revised terms that Apple has imposed on dating-app providers are unfair, and create an unnecessary barrier."

In particular, it does not like that Apple is asking developers to submit a separate app binary for the Dutch market, which it believes will create additional costs for developers and give customers access to alternative payments. Will force download a new, different app. The systems regulator says it is also unhappy with "many other elements" of Apple's proposals and says Apple needs to adjust them to avoid further fines.

Despite its efforts to comply with the order, the iPhone maker is still appealing against the ACM's decision. The iPhone maker has said that offering the option of its own in-app payment system would "compromise the user experience and create new threats to user privacy and data security." An Apple representative did not immediately respond to The Verge's request for comment on ACM's latest notice.

The revenue that Apple generates through in-app purchases from dating apps in the Netherlands is likely to make up a negligible fraction of its global acquisitions. But the controversy is significant for the early precedent it may have set amid an international wave of scrutiny over Apple's App Store policies.

Under Apple's proposed policies, which were detailed in early February, dating app developers using alternative payment systems are charged a 27 percent commission by Apple when developers use Apple's own in-app payment system. Huh. If so, there is a small discount on the 30 percent commission. Developers who wish to use alternative payment systems will need to provide a separate app binary to be distributed through the Dutch App Store. ACM's decision comes after a complaint from Match Group (owner of Tinder and other dating services), Reuters previously reported.

Interestingly, ACM's notice posted today does not specifically mention Apple's intention to charge a 27 percent commission on in-app payments made through alternative payment systems.

Apple previously failed to meet the ACM's deadline to change its policy, which saw it liable for a weekly fine of €5 million (about $5.7 million) unless it complied. The Dutch regulator objected to Apple raising barriers for developers wanting to use third-party payment systems, such as forcing them to use payment systems outside the app or alternative payment systems within the app.

Apple's App Store policies have faced increasing scrutiny from both developers and regulators around the world. Last year in the US, a judge ordered Apple to allow developers to link to external payment processors in response to a legal challenge from Epic Games, although this decision was later stayed pending appeal. South Korea has also passed a law prohibiting platform holders such as Apple and Google to prevent developers from using alternative payment systems.

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