Apple faces escalating fines over Dutch dating app payments

Posted:
in iOS
A Dutch regulator warns that while Apple has to pay the maximum 50 million euro ($55 million) fine for failing to abide by its dating app payments order for the App Store, there may be more, higher penalties on the way.




On Monday, the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) confirmed reports from Friday that Apple had failed to comply with its order to enable third-party payments for dating apps in the Netherlands regional App Store. The ordeal for Apple may be far from over, as the regulator offers the threat that more fines could be imposed in the future.

Apple was fined 5 million euro ($5.5 million) per week for ten weeks, for not properly complying with the order. While Apple submitted a new proposal to the ACM on March 22, the company still hadn't complied with the ACM's requirements, so ended up having to pay the tenth and final fine, reaching the maximum issued penalty.

In a statement, the ACM offers that it welcomes Apple's proposal, and that "the adjusted proposal should result in definitive conditions for dating-app providers that wish to use the App Store." After receiving a proposal for definitive conditions, the ACM then will consult with "market participants," such as dating app providers, before issuing a decision of compliance.

Though Apple has to pay out the maximum fine, the ACM warns that there could be more payments in the future. "If ACM comes to the conclusion that Apple does not meet the requirements, ACM may impose another order subject to periodic penalty payments," the regulator writes.

The new fines could include "possibly higher penalties this time around" so that it could "stimulate Apple to comply with the order," it adds.

While a $55 million fine may be a considerable sum for many companies, Apple's vast revenues and cash reserves mean it doesn't necessarily feel much of a pinch when it comes to the fine. After five consecutive weeks of fines, the ACM complained that Apple had "refused to put forward any serious proposals," indicating Apple was dragging its heels on the matter.

It remains to be seen if the ACM will levy a considerable-enough fine against Apple to prompt rapid action.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    Apple’s next proposal should be to shut down the App Store in the Netherlands. Then these companies can use web apps with whatever payment providers they want and nothing owed to Apple.

    Maybe the only thing a web app would lack that a dating app “needs” is notifications. But that is an easy feature to add since Safari already supports them on macOS.
    slow n easywilliamlondonaderutter
  • Reply 2 of 23
    omasouomasou Posts: 323member
    Seems a bit strange that the Netherlands is making such a big fuss about "dating apps".

    Is it b/c "dating apps" are used to book appointments int he red light district? And or the "proprietors" are withholding back political kickbacks till they get their way?
    kelemorwilliamlondonAnilu_777
  • Reply 3 of 23
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 2,218member
    I have a feeling Apple will leverage the rental model to the Netherlands  ;)
  • Reply 4 of 23
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,991member
    Apple’s next proposal should be to shut down the App Store in the Netherlands. Then these companies can use web apps with whatever payment providers they want and nothing owed to Apple.

    Maybe the only thing a web app would lack that a dating app “needs” is notifications. But that is an easy feature to add since Safari already supports them on macOS.
    Nope. Why Apple is trying to postpone the inevitable is a mystery. The EU is going to do this whether Apple likes it or not. They cannot withdraw from the EU market anymore than they could withdraw from China or South America or any other market. The hypocrisy here is that Apple has stated that they comply with all the laws of the countries they do business in. When China tells them to remove an app they do it. When China told them to keep Chinese customer’s data on Chinese servers they did it. When Russia told them to include certain Russian domestically developed apps, they did it. If they can comply with totalitarian government dictates then why not the democratic EU? When these EU laws are passed and implemented what’s Apple going to do? If these laws turn out to truly damage Apple’s business then maybe they have a case to appeal.

    Always remember the macOS market has had "side loading" and third party payment systems since day one and is quite healthy and profitable for Apple to this day. iOS can implement gatekeeping that can be bypassed by the user if so desired, just like macOS. Warn the shit out of users before allowing it. Scare the crap out of them before letting them download and install questionable software.

    We as Apple supporters should also be ready push back when some idiot gets their data or identity compromised and then tries to blame Apple for it, just like the losers who install malware but claim they didn’t do nuttin’.
    edited March 28 darkvaderelijahgrobin huberAnilu_777croprmuthuk_vanalingamgatorguy
  • Reply 5 of 23
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,937member
    I have a feeling Apple will leverage the rental model to the Netherlands  ;)
    That seems like a likely scenario. However I'm not sure how Apple will deal with the iPhones that it already sold in that country.

    In fact, it seems likely to me that Apple will switch to the rental model across the entire EU. I think that's their secret plan.
    bloggerblog
  • Reply 6 of 23
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,593member
    lkrupp said:
    Apple’s next proposal should be to shut down the App Store in the Netherlands. Then these companies can use web apps with whatever payment providers they want and nothing owed to Apple.

    Maybe the only thing a web app would lack that a dating app “needs” is notifications. But that is an easy feature to add since Safari already supports them on macOS.
    Nope. Why Apple is trying to postpone the inevitable is a mystery. The EU is going to do this whether Apple likes it or not. They cannot withdraw from the EU market anymore than they could withdraw from China or South America or any other market. The hypocrisy here is that Apple has stated that they comply with all the laws of the countries they do business in. When China tells them to remove an app they do it. When China told them to keep Chinese customer’s data on Chinese servers they did it. When Russia told them to include certain Russian domestically developed apps, they did it. If they can comply with totalitarian government dictates then why not the democratic EU? When these EU laws are passed and implemented what’s Apple going to do? If these laws turn out to truly damage Apple’s business then maybe they have a case to appeal.

    Always remember the macOS market has had "side loading" and third party payment systems since day one and is quite healthy and profitable for Apple to this day. iOS can implement gatekeeping that can be bypassed by the user if so desired, just like macOS. Warn the shit out of users before allowing it. Scare the crap out of them before letting them download and install questionable software.

    We as Apple supporters should also be ready push back when some idiot gets their data or identity compromised and then tries to blame Apple for it, just like the losers who install malware but claim they didn’t do nuttin’.
    Woah you've changed your tune. Never thought I'd see the day you'd call Apple hypocrites. I agree with you though, Apple is going to have to follow EU law. If Apple had been less controlling and more respectful of devs wishes in the first place these regulations would never have got off the ground. But here they are being forced to open up their OS on someone else's terms. No doubt in other jurisdictions when a similar law is passed, it will be different enough to cause a huge headache for Apple, customers and developers. All of which could have been avoided if Apple (read:Cook) had been less greedy and less controlling. It was inevitable really.

    Apple already sandboxes apps. There is no reason they can't sandbox third party apps and show a popup when they try and access the filesystem/documents/microphone/etc just like they do with third party apps not sourced from the App Store on macOS. macOS has the immutable boot volume, iOS could do this with a similar iOS version of csrutil to allow users to write to the boot volume (with copious warnings etc of course) - rooting in Android parlance. This is how it works on macOS too, and macOS isn't riddled with malware.
    edited March 28 Anilu_777
  • Reply 7 of 23
    barthrhbarthrh Posts: 118member
    lkrupp said:

    Always remember the macOS market has had "side loading" and third party payment systems since day one and is quite healthy and profitable for Apple to this day. iOS can implement gatekeeping that can be bypassed by the user if so desired, just like macOS. Warn the shit out of users before allowing it. Scare the crap out of them before letting them download and install questionable software.

    We as Apple supporters should also be ready push back when some idiot gets their data or identity compromised and then tries to blame Apple for it, just like the losers who install malware but claim they didn’t do nuttin’.
    A phone is a different device from a computer. The user profile is different, users expect it to work like an appliance, the sensitivity of the device is greater as something with you all the time and your primary point of communication / payment. If users install apps from outside the app store (which will of course be riddled with malware, as is evident in 3rd party Android and even the Play store), many will get hacked. The headline will read "App steals $xxx from iPhone user." There will be no mention of the third party store, just as there never is when a 3rd party battery or charger starts a fire. No doubt revenue is #1 or #2 on Apple's list of concerns, but the iOS' near squeaky-clean record has got to be a concern as well.

    robin huberslow n easymark fearingradarthekat
  • Reply 8 of 23
    lkrupp said:
    Apple’s next proposal should be to shut down the App Store in the Netherlands. Then these companies can use web apps with whatever payment providers they want and nothing owed to Apple.

    Maybe the only thing a web app would lack that a dating app “needs” is notifications. But that is an easy feature to add since Safari already supports them on macOS.
    Nope. Why Apple is trying to postpone the inevitable is a mystery. The EU is going to do this whether Apple likes it or not. They cannot withdraw from the EU market anymore than they could withdraw from China or South America or any other market. The hypocrisy here is that Apple has stated that they comply with all the laws of the countries they do business in. When China tells them to remove an app they do it. When China told them to keep Chinese customer’s data on Chinese servers they did it. When Russia told them to include certain Russian domestically developed apps, they did it. If they can comply with totalitarian government dictates then why not the democratic EU? When these EU laws are passed and implemented what’s Apple going to do? If these laws turn out to truly damage Apple’s business then maybe they have a case to appeal.

    Always remember the macOS market has had "side loading" and third party payment systems since day one and is quite healthy and profitable for Apple to this day. iOS can implement gatekeeping that can be bypassed by the user if so desired, just like macOS. Warn the shit out of users before allowing it. Scare the crap out of them before letting them download and install questionable software.

    We as Apple supporters should also be ready push back when some idiot gets their data or identity compromised and then tries to blame Apple for it, just like the losers who install malware but claim they didn’t do nuttin’.
    The funniest two things about this are:
    • The apparent inside knowledge about what Apple did in those cases. You know nothing about what was negotiated or conceded, what was threatened, or how long Apple took to comply. It also doesn’t appear that they touched Apple’s revenue streams at all. (Who knows, though? Political graft is different in said autocracies, a bit more direct — it isn’t whitewashed as fines, fees, and taxes.)

    • It amazes me that anybody can be like “they listen to those durn autocrats” and also be like “we’re a free democracy and that’s better!” but then actively try to deny Apple it’s full rights under those democratic laws. Which is it? Do you like strict and no guarantees of liberty or free but messy? Make up your mind.

    PS - that side loading model you so love nearly destroyed Apple, has never been as robust, has been exceedingly expensive most of that time due to piracy and other factors (not to mention the businesses that went under because of it), led to the spread of massive amounts of malware (mostly targeted at Windows, but hey). And honestly, do we not innovate on business models anymore? Do I have to do it the way grandpappy did it? Should we get rid of the mortgage system and go back to building our houses from kits, or with the help of my church members? I mean that crap “worked just fine”, too. Let’s do away with credit cards while we’re at it, and only pay in gold coin. I mean … you do realize that almost all the things you enjoy about modern life exist because of  the new financial changes/innovations that came with them and allowed them to mature into stable businesses, right?
    edited March 28 foregoneconclusionslow n easydewmeAnilu_777radarthekat
  • Reply 9 of 23
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 410member
    So few people are going to go outside the App Store that it won’t matter. I’d add a switch that when flipped explains that users are on their own and have no recourse with Apple. 

    Apple is not going to pay this fine so the amount does not matter. The Dutch won’t see a nickel and should not plan too. Apple will win in the end. The craziest part about all of this is that no consumers want this type of arrangement. It’s all political with the idea that “Big Apple” is strong arming the “little developers” after these developers leveraged the App Store to become successful. 

    Apple should be able to flip the script and charge developers for all downloads if alternate payment systems are used. Very easy to do by requiring the use of a 3rd Party Pay Kit (as they call stuff). Use this and it’s pay per download without your App will not run. 
    radarthekat
  • Reply 10 of 23
    zeus423zeus423 Posts: 148member
    Tim Cook should pay the fine like Peter Griffin, Bill Gates, Michael Eisner, and Mr. Pewterschmidt did in Family Guy when they had to pay a toll booth a quarter.

    About 1:40 in https://youtu.be/GgE_27xfzSc
    williamlondon
  • Reply 11 of 23
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,593member
    jimh2 said:
    So few people are going to go outside the App Store that it won’t matter. I’d add a switch that when flipped explains that users are on their own and have no recourse with Apple. 

    Apple is not going to pay this fine so the amount does not matter. The Dutch won’t see a nickel and should not plan too. Apple will win in the end. The craziest part about all of this is that no consumers want this type of arrangement. It’s all political with the idea that “Big Apple” is strong arming the “little developers” after these developers leveraged the App Store to become successful. 

    Apple should be able to flip the script and charge developers for all downloads if alternate payment systems are used. Very easy to do by requiring the use of a 3rd Party Pay Kit (as they call stuff). Use this and it’s pay per download without your App will not run. 
    If so few are going to use side loading, why is Apple so adamant it should not allow it for the few that want it?

    If Apple doesn't pay, they'll be taken to court and will ultimately lose as they have not complied with an order by a government regulator. Also, the EU is just about to force the iPhone to become more open, do you think Apple will just ignore that too?
  • Reply 12 of 23
    omasou said:
    Seems a bit strange that the Netherlands is making such a big fuss about "dating apps".

    Is it b/c "dating apps" are used to book appointments int he red light district? And or the "proprietors" are withholding back political kickbacks till they get their way?
    Well it would be funny for Apple to allow apps that are knowingly largely used for prostitution when they didn’t allow Playboy magazine to have an app because of nudity.
  • Reply 13 of 23
    elijahg said:
    lkrupp said:Nope. Why Apple is trying to postpone the inevitable is a mystery. 
    I agree with you though, Apple is going to have to follow EU law. 
    I think people need to consider the possibility that what the ACM is requiring (including 1st party and 3rd party options at the same time) may not be that easy to implement. Apple wanted to use the binary approach because it's a simpler way to allow 3rd party payments and something they had already done in other countries for other legal requirements. 
    edited March 28
  • Reply 14 of 23
    I have a feeling Apple will leverage the rental model to the Netherlands  ;)
    That seems like a likely scenario. However I'm not sure how Apple will deal with the iPhones that it already sold in that country.

    In fact, it seems likely to me that Apple will switch to the rental model across the entire EU. I think that's their secret plan.
    Even if someone is just renting a device the person with legal possession has the right to use it as they wish. The owner can’t interfere with its use until the paid rental period is over. That’s a standard concept in business law.
    elijahg
  • Reply 15 of 23
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,669member
    I have a feeling Apple will leverage the rental model to the Netherlands  ;)
    That seems like a likely scenario. However I'm not sure how Apple will deal with the iPhones that it already sold in that country.

    In fact, it seems likely to me that Apple will switch to the rental model across the entire EU. I think that's their secret plan.
    Even if someone is just renting a device the person with legal possession has the right to use it as they wish. The owner can’t interfere with its use until the paid rental period is over. That’s a standard concept in business law.
    Not really.  I rent an apartment.  They have rules about the number of people that can sleep there or “no pets” and that sort of thing.  I rent a car, and they have “no smoking” or “no pets “ for the car.  So the owner can interfere with the use of the rented items.  
    aderutterbloggerblogradarthekat
  • Reply 16 of 23
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,669member
    elijahg said:
    jimh2 said:
    So few people are going to go outside the App Store that it won’t matter. I’d add a switch that when flipped explains that users are on their own and have no recourse with Apple. 

    Apple is not going to pay this fine so the amount does not matter. The Dutch won’t see a nickel and should not plan too. Apple will win in the end. The craziest part about all of this is that no consumers want this type of arrangement. It’s all political with the idea that “Big Apple” is strong arming the “little developers” after these developers leveraged the App Store to become successful. 

    Apple should be able to flip the script and charge developers for all downloads if alternate payment systems are used. Very easy to do by requiring the use of a 3rd Party Pay Kit (as they call stuff). Use this and it’s pay per download without your App will not run. 
    If so few are going to use side loading, why is Apple so adamant it should not allow it for the few that want it?

    If Apple doesn't pay, they'll be taken to court and will ultimately lose as they have not complied with an order by a government regulator. Also, the EU is just about to force the iPhone to become more open, do you think Apple will just ignore that too?
    I think the claim that Apple won’t be paying anything is not speculation that Apple will refuse to pay, but that Apple will ultimately prevail in legal challenges.  
  • Reply 17 of 23
    Anilu_777Anilu_777 Posts: 331member
    I think Apple should just remove those apps from the App Store until this is resolved. No apps, no fine. Let the developers make “dates” on the web. 
  • Reply 18 of 23
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,561member
    omasou said:
    Seems a bit strange that the Netherlands is making such a big fuss about "dating apps".

    Is it b/c "dating apps" are used to book appointments int he red light district? And or the "proprietors" are withholding back political kickbacks till they get their way?
    It's even stranger when one consider that Match.com is owned by Match Group, which own like 45 online "dating" services, and appears to be the main company behind this suit and they are HQ in Dallas, Texas, USA. 

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Match_Group

    Match Group is also one of the first members that founded CAF (Coalition of Fair Apps),  along with Epic and Spotify.  So for sure CAF is also behind this lawsuit but why only cover "dating" services? And there don't seem to be any connection between Match.com or any of the other "dating" services own by Match Group and the Netherlands. It's not even one of Match Group largest market. Which is not surprising considering why should people in the Netherlands pay for a subscription when the same "service" is an Uber ride away. 

    The only thing I can come up with is that the politicians had to be paid off but weren't interested in Fortnite Bucks or free subscription to music streaming for life.  
  • Reply 19 of 23
    croprcropr Posts: 1,075member
    omasou said:
    Seems a bit strange that the Netherlands is making such a big fuss about "dating apps".

    Is it b/c "dating apps" are used to book appointments int he red light district? And or the "proprietors" are withholding back political kickbacks till they get their way?
    Well it would be funny for Apple to allow apps that are knowingly largely used for prostitution when they didn’t allow Playboy magazine to have an app because of nudity.
    The biggest dating app provider concerned is https://www.parship.nl  ; The headline on their website (translated):"The number 1 in serious relations".   And Parship is active in numerous EU countries, so the impact can be bigger than just the Netherlands 

    spheric
  • Reply 20 of 23
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,374member
    lkrupp said:
    Apple’s next proposal should be to shut down the App Store in the Netherlands. Then these companies can use web apps with whatever payment providers they want and nothing owed to Apple.

    Maybe the only thing a web app would lack that a dating app “needs” is notifications. But that is an easy feature to add since Safari already supports them on macOS.
    Nope. Why Apple is trying to postpone the inevitable is a mystery. The EU is going to do this whether Apple likes it or not. They cannot withdraw from the EU market anymore than they could withdraw from China or South America or any other market. The hypocrisy here is that Apple has stated that they comply with all the laws of the countries they do business in. When China tells them to remove an app they do it. When China told them to keep Chinese customer’s data on Chinese servers they did it. When Russia told them to include certain Russian domestically developed apps, they did it. If they can comply with totalitarian government dictates then why not the democratic EU? When these EU laws are passed and implemented what’s Apple going to do? If these laws turn out to truly damage Apple’s business then maybe they have a case to appeal.

    Always remember the macOS market has had "side loading" and third party payment systems since day one and is quite healthy and profitable for Apple to this day. iOS can implement gatekeeping that can be bypassed by the user if so desired, just like macOS. Warn the shit out of users before allowing it. Scare the crap out of them before letting them download and install questionable software.

    We as Apple supporters should also be ready push back when some idiot gets their data or identity compromised and then tries to blame Apple for it, just like the losers who install malware but claim they didn’t do nuttin’.
    Wow. A post of yours I actually agree with in full. Well considered sir. 
    muthuk_vanalingamelijahg
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