Apple to Allow Third-Party Payments in Dating Services in the Netherlands

  • Elijah Martin
  • 28 Dec 2021

Should third-party app publishers on iOS only accept payments via App Store? The most epic case over this question happened between Apple and Epic, but attacks continue from other sides. On December 24, the Netherlands authorities ruled that dating apps can accept payments through alternate services, not through App Store only, and Apple needs to enable this.

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets has been following the case at least since 2019. The ruling only concerns one class of apps, but quite an influential one on the market. It’s enough to say that among all the lifestyle apps global rating, dating services firmly occupy the first place.

Why dating apps? The answer is simple. The reason is a complaint the ACM received from Match Group. The corporation that owns services like Match.com, Tinder, and OkCupid, provided enough reasons and arguments to explain why exactly it’s not right for Apple to block third-party payments even as an option.

Under the resolution, Apple needs to allow dating apps in the Netherlands (all of them, not only those owned by Match Group) to use third-party payment systems. They should also let apps contain links to external payment options. If Apple doesn’t obey by January 15, the fine may be from €5 million weekly, up to €50M. If it happens as planned, it will be a very influential precedent.

It could have been a story about how love wins again. Still, let’s see how other countries react, and whether other app categories have such a flagship as Match Group or Epic Games whose lead they may follow. And let’s agree about what wins in The Matrix Resurrections: love or greed.

And what about you? Are you good with no-alternative payments within iOS apps, or would you rather use external options if it’s cheaper there? Share your opinion with us in the comments!

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