What you need to know
- Apple has sent a letter claiming it has complied with demands made by a Dutch watchdog.
- Apple has been told to allow dating apps in the Dutch App Store to use third-party payments.
- A fine of $5.7 million has been levied each week Apple hasn't complied.
In a letter sent to the Dutch consumer watchdog fining it $5.7 million weekly, Apple claims that it has complied with its requirements to give apps a way to accept third-party payments.
The backstory is long and complicated but can be distilled fairly easily. The Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) told Apple that its App Store had to allow dating apps to use third-party payments. Apple then set about putting the wheels in motion to make that happen, but not to the satisfaction of the ACM. Apple has been fined $5.7 million every week since — and now it's sent a letter saying it thinks it has complied as required.
Reuters reports that the letter, dated February 28, claims that the solution put forward requires only a "minor technical change" on the part of developers with no additional cost burden. That technical change is to submit two different binaries to the App Store; one that's configured for App Store in-app purchases and another that's geared towards third-party payments. It's that second one that would then be used in the Dutch App Store.
Whether the ACM will agree or not isn't clear at this stage, but it hasn't agreed every previous week since this began so it seems unlikely.
All eyes will be on both Apple and the ACM to see what comes next as developers around the world watch on. Many have pointed out the irony of Apple trying to meet vague requirements given to it and seemingly being unable to — something developers deal with on a daily basis when working within Apple's App Store rules and approval systems.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.