Dutch watchdog says Apple will offer alternative payment methods in dating apps

(Reuters) – The Netherlands’ antitrust watchdog said on Saturday that Apple Inc would allow different payment methods in Dutch dating apps, ending a dispute that resulted in a 50 million euro fine (52 .58 million dollars).

The Authority for Consumers and Markets (AMC) said in a statement https://bit.ly/3aP3fZp that with this concession, Apple will meet the requirement that the regulator had set under the competition rules of the European Union and the Netherlands.

The iPhone maker has long enforced the use of its in-app payment system, which charges commissions of up to 30%, which some developers like Tinder owner Match Group Inc say are too high.

“In the digital economy, powerful companies have a special responsibility to maintain a fair and open market. Apple has avoided this responsibility and abused its dominant position vis-à-vis providers of dating applications,” said Martijn Snoep, Chairman of the Board of ACM.

“We are happy that Apple has finally aligned its terms with European and Dutch competition rules.”

The ACM ruled last year that Apple’s rules violate Dutch competition laws in the dating app market and require Apple to allow those developers to use third-party payment processors.

On Friday, Apple set rules on how developers of dating apps offered in the Netherlands can bypass its in-app payment systems.

He said dating app developers will still have to pay him commissions for sales made outside of his in-app payment system, though he gives them a slight discount.

In response to a question from Reuters, an Apple representative referred to the company’s Friday update for dating apps in the Netherlands, in which he said he was not a agreement with the initial order from the ACM.

The update said: “We do not believe that any of these changes are in the interest of our users’ privacy or data security. Because Apple is committed to constructive engagement with regulators, we are making the additional changes at the request of the ACM. As we have said before, we disagree with the original ACM order and are appealing it.”

($1 = 0.9510 euros)

(Reporting by Shivam Patel in BengaluruEditing by Marguerita Choy and Diane Craft)

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