According to Reuters, the Netherlands Consumer and Markets Authority (ACM) has fined Apple 5 million euros for the third week in a row. The reason for the fine is Apple’s failure to meet its requirements for alternative payment systems for dating apps. The ACM said today that it still has not received enough information from Apple to assess whether Apple has properly complied with the order. The competition watchdog will continue to fine Apple 5 million euros a week, up to 50 million euros, until it finds the company has complied.
Last month, the ACM said Apple had “set up several hurdles” for dating apps. These hurdles are for the apps that want to offer an alternative payment system in the Netherlands. For example, developers must submit a rights request form on Apple’s website, and the rights can only be used for new binary apps released separately on the App Store in the Netherlands.
Apple is also forcing dating apps to choose between the App Store’s standard in-app purchase system or other payment systems, ACM said. The regulator said dating apps must be able to offer both options in the Netherlands. Last week, the company provided additional details for dating apps looking to offer an alternative payment system in the Netherlands.
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Apple to charge 27% commission for dating apps in the Netherlands
According to Apple, it will charge a 27-percent commission on transactions in dating apps that use an alternative payment system. However, this does not include the value of tax collections and remittances made by the company.
“Consistent with ACM’s order, dating apps that have been granted the right to link out or use third-party in-app payment providers will pay Apple a commission on the transaction. After deducting VAT, Apple will charge a 27% commission on the price users pay. This is a lower rate and does not include value related to payment processing and related activities. The developer will be responsible for collecting and remitting any applicable taxes, such as Value Added Tax (VAT) in the Netherlands…”
Apple has since appealed the ACM order. It argues that alternative payment systems in the App Store would pose privacy and security risks to customers. The company also said it would not be able to assist customers. It will not assist with refund requests, subscription management, and other issues. These issues usually arise with purchasing digital goods and services through alternative systems.
Apple has been playing the “privacy and security” card for quite some time. However, it appears that the company will have to look for better reasons. Regulators now believe that consumers should have the right to choose. Consumers should know the risk involved and then choose whether to use the App Store or third-party platforms.