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January 25, 2022

Dutch regulator fines Apple for payment-related lapses

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has placed a fine on Apple for failing to comply with a payment-related order.

The competition regulator fined Apple $5.6m (€5m) after the latter failed to allow dating-app providers to use alternative payment methods other than the company’s own payment system.

ACM imposed the penalty following an investigation into Apple’s earlier statements. It also ordered the technology giant to adjust its conditions that will offer dating-app providers with access to the Dutch App Store.

The dating-app providers should also have ability to refer to payment systems outside of the app, according to the regulatory order.

In a statement, ACM said: “Apple has failed to satisfy the requirements on several points. The most important one is that Apple has failed to adjust its conditions, as a result of which dating-app providers are still unable to use other payment systems. At the moment, dating-app providers can merely express their ‘interest’.

“In addition, Apple has raised several barriers for dating-app providers to the use of third-party payment systems. That, too, is at odds with ACM’s requirements.

“For example, Apple seemingly forces app providers to make a choice: either refer to payment systems outside of the app or to an alternative payment system. That is not allowed. Providers must be able to choose both options.”

Apple will now face periodic penalty payments of $5.6m (€5m) every week up to a maximum of $56.6m (€50m), if it fails to implement the requirements of the order.

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