Apple has been forced to accept certain third-party payment platforms on its devices in the Netherlands.
A few weeks ago following a Dutch court decision, Apple was forced to accept third-party payment systems on certain dating apps available on its App Store. A blow for Apple, which for years has insisted that its strict regulations are only there to improve the security and experience of its users. However, the criticism mainly addressed to the company concerning the rigidity of its App Store resided until then in the Mandatory 30% commission charged on each in-app transaction. A heavy shortfall for developers, who are more and more likely to seize the antitrust authorities.
Apple loses its lawsuit, but not really the war
After losing its lawsuit against several Dutch dating apps, Apple finally had to comply with European requirements, allowing third-party payment systems on dating software. Yes, but now, the Apple is not yet ready to drop its tax. If developers will be able to opt for alternative platforms for their in-app purchases, the American company continues to play on the nerves of regulators, by lowering its commission from 30%… to 27%.
After a first arrest last August, the consumer and market surveillance authority (ACM) had ordered Apple to update its policy for the use of the App Store to authorize alternative payment solutions. It is now done. The company has announced that it has made the decision to lower its commission, only for dating applications. Developers of this type of software will now be able to choose to go through a proprietary system, or to directly include an integrated link leading to a payment web page. However, they will not be able to get rid of the Apple tax.
To benefit from the alternative payment system, developers will have to submit a request to Apple, and agree to report their external sales to Apple in order to pay the tax claimed. Not sure that this solution is suitable for European regulators.