Dutch regulator will examine Apple's App Store dating app payment proposal

Posted:
in iOS edited January 17
The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets will be looking into Apple's proposal for how it plans to handle dating app alternative payment options, to see if the company has sufficiently complied with the regulatory order.




In accordance with an order from the ACM to allow dating apps operating in the Netherlands to use third-party payment mechanisms, Apple said on Saturday that it would comply by providing more options to developers. The ACM now wants to determine if Apple is fully complying with the order with its announcement.

In a statement published on Monday, ACM confirms Apple has informed the regulator of policy changes for dating apps in the App Store, and that it will now "assess whether Apple meets the requirements that ACM had imposed." Part of the assessment will involve the ACM talking to dating app providers and "other interested parties" about Apple's changes.

ACM doesn't state what parties it will be talking to, but the list will probably include Match, a dating app that has repeatedly complained about Apple's App Store policies, and has even testified to the U.S. Senate about it in 2021.

Match is also a member of the Coalition for App Fairness, an organization that has campaigned for changes in the App Store, including the App Store commission.

Apple's change in policy to comply with the order will allow developers two other options for taking payments. Along with the existing IAP system, developers could point users to a website to perform a transaction, or include a third-party payment system within the app.

Even though Apple wouldn't process the actual transaction for the new options, it has indicated it still wants to get its usual commission. The developer support page indicates that in such situations the app's owners "will pay Apple a commission on transactions."

Apple has yet to indicate how much the commissions will be, but intends to offer more information soon.

Developers would also have to assist users "with refunds, purchase history, subscription management, and other issues" for purchases made from outside the App Store. Furthermore, developers using alternative payment methods will also have to submit a separate app binary that will only be distributed in the Netherlands App Store.

The order from ACM to Apple was made in October, but published in December.

Under the order, Apple had to "adjust the conditions for access" to the Dutch App Store for dating app providers, enabling them to "use payment systems other than Apple's payment system in the App Store." They also "must have the ability to refer in their apps to payment options outside the app."

However, it appears there is no part of the demand that prevents Apple from demanding its commission for these alternate payments.

If Apple didn't make the changes within two months, Apple faced a periodic penalty of 5 million euros ($5.7 million) per week, up to a maximum of 50 million euros.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    FYI to the ACM: the internet exists. It's real. It allows payments, searches for information, and can host applications. And it's accessible to anyone with a smartphone. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 10
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,961member
    Even though Apple wouldn't process the actual transaction for the new options, it has indicated it still wants to get its usual commission. The developer support page indicates that in such situations the app's owners "will pay Apple a commission on transactions."

    Apple has yet to indicate how much the commissions will be, but intends to offer more information soon.

    It will be interesting to see how Apple implements their commission procedures.  There are freeloaders, and their supporters here on AI that believe they should get 100% access to Apple's customers on Apple's hard-worked ecosystem for free.  Not going to happen.  I do expect some of these shady developers to try to circumvent even that by cooking the books in some way so they don't pay Apple the commission that Apple rightfully deserves.
    williamlondonapplguylkruppwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 10
    Agree SFlocal. Apple should cripple what free loaders van do in IOS!
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 10
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,961member
    pwrmac said:
    Agree SFlocal. Apple should cripple what free loaders van do in IOS!
    That's not what I said.  If a developer is caught trying to cheat Apple's rightful commission, that developer should be banned and their app removed from the App Store.  I don't support "crippling" apps or having those kind of apps in the App Store.  It does not help Apple to do that.
    applguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 10
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,571member
    I’m at a loss as to why Apple charges a commission for such apps. Their own policy says “digital goods and services”. A dating service is not digital, no more than a ride hailing service. You’re looking for a hook up in the real, physical world.
    elijahg
  • Reply 6 of 10
    mjtomlin said:
    I’m at a loss as to why Apple charges a commission for such apps. Their own policy says “digital goods and services”. A dating service is not digital, no more than a ride hailing service. You’re looking for a hook up in the real, physical world.
    It’s the services part. Using apples platform to host wearing service. Connecting people is the service. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 10
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,577member
    mjtomlin said:
    I’m at a loss as to why Apple charges a commission for such apps. Their own policy says “digital goods and services”. A dating service is not digital, no more than a ride hailing service. You’re looking for a hook up in the real, physical world.
    Dating services are not making money with the "hook up", in the real physical world. Dating apps makes money by selling access to their digitally stored library, of people looking for someone to "hook up" with, in the real physical world. And unless one pays for a subscription, there's no way to actually get the info needed to "hook up", in the real physical world. Dating services do not make any extra money when a real "hook up" takes place between paying subscribers. All their money is made in the digital world. If they were like Uber, they would only be  making money if a real "hook up" in the physical world occurs between people using a free app. 

    With Uber, the app is free. There is no cost to use an Uber app, to "hook up" with a driver. And there is no cost for a driver to use an Uber app to "hook up" with a person seeking a ride. If Uber was like a dating app, drivers would have to pay for a subscription to access the people needing a ride. And people needing a ride would have to pay for a list of drivers willing to provide them with a ride. Uber makes their money after a "hook up" in the real physical world, not in the digital world. 

    On the other hand with Facebook, the app is free for anyone to use. Facebook do not make any money providing people with a way of contacting other people on Facebook, in the digital world. Facebook make their money with ads placed on the pages of people contacting other people and the selling of personal data of the people using their app, to advertisers of targeted ads. Apple and Google do not get a commission on that money because Facebook in making that money off the advertisers, not off the people using their free app. 

    Same with Spotify. Apple do not make any money with people accessing Spotify free ad supported music streaming. Even though Spotify is making a ton of money with advertising to those people. Apple only make a commission on paying subscribers that pays for their subscription using Spotify free iOS app. 

     If Apple could get a piece of those advertising revenue, Apple App Store revenue would skyrocket. Imagine if Apple were to get a piece of the advertising revenue Google generates from just Google Map. 


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 10
    omasouomasou Posts: 324member
    IMHO part of Epic's strategy was to lure smaller developers to their payment system promising lower transaction rates. I only see that working if Apple isn't also collecting commission, which wouldn't make sense.

    In the end this is all a waste of time to solve a problem that doesn't exist and only serves to fragment the process and confuse the consumer.
    edited January 18 lkruppmike1williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 10
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,599member
    mjtomlin said:
    I’m at a loss as to why Apple charges a commission for such apps. Their own policy says “digital goods and services”. A dating service is not digital, no more than a ride hailing service. You’re looking for a hook up in the real, physical world.
    It’s the services part. Using apples platform to host wearing service. Connecting people is the service. 
    Facebook is a service. Apple gets exactly zero commission from that, and Facebook probably makes more money from iOS than anyone other than Apple themselves. If they're going to charge commission for an IAP that doesn't cause any extra burden on the App Store servers, why not charge commission on every ad that's displayed in the Facebook app? It's not fair to allow frequently trashy ad-supported apps to be hosted free, and those arguably higher quality apps that are not free or that have IAPs to be charged commission. 
  • Reply 10 of 10
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,599member

    davidw said:
    mjtomlin said:
    I’m at a loss as to why Apple charges a commission for such apps. Their own policy says “digital goods and services”. A dating service is not digital, no more than a ride hailing service. You’re looking for a hook up in the real, physical world.
     Apple and Google do not get a commission on that money because Facebook in making that money off the advertisers, not off the people using their free app. 

    They most certainly do make money off of people using their app, it's just a different currency: personal data. They convert that into real money when they sell that data to advertisers. 
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