Apple 3.0 exclusive: A conversation about the Dutch dating app rules

Developers found them "absolutely vile." Investors found them blameless. And I feel like we've been talking past each other on the comment stream.

Time for a face-to-face conversation among friends, using Apple's disagreement with the Netherlands Authority for Consumer & Markets as a starting point.

Robert Leitao and I have scheduled a subscriber-only Zoom call for Saturday

  • Date: Saturday 2/12/22
  • Time: 1:00 p.m. Eastern, 10 a.m. Pacific (Apple event hours)

Interested? Send email to with "Netherlands" in the subject line.

Seating is limited. First come, first served.

Not an Apple 3.0 subscriber? Easily solved. Click here.


  1. David Emery said:
    It would be good to invite a developer or two. That’s a perspective I’m not sure we have within the 3.0 crowd.

    February 7, 2022
    • Tommo_UK said:
      There are major developers reading 3.0 and highly positioned and influential leaders.

      They just wouldn’t be stupid enough to attract unwanted attention given Apple’s tendency to dish out retribution.

      February 7, 2022
  2. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    Please contact PED at your earliest convenience if you’d like to participate in what is likely to be a lively conversation. There are different perspectives on the issues that may prove to be global in scale!

    February 7, 2022
  3. Michael Goldfeder said:
    How about Tim Sweeney as a surprise guest? I promise to take my polite pills if he does show up.

    February 7, 2022
    • Robert Paul Leitao said:
      Michael: Refill the prescription, please! If that guy shows up I’ll need a handful of them along with a shot of something in my morning espresso! The worst of this issue is it reminds me of a song from the very early 80’s recorded by Johnny Lee for the Urban Cowboy soundtrack. I never liked the song but the lyrics and melody keep running through by head. I need something today! Please let me know if you have anything stronger! I’m off to Apple Music just to get some rock or at least some alternative tunes flowing through my office.

      February 7, 2022
  4. Tommo_UK said:
    Given my strength of feeling on the matter (in my view) of the decline of Apple’s ethics and brand reputation, and now-exposed Rottweiler-like litigation policies deployed to expand its influence in much the same way we accuse China of pushing its luck to extend its borders and broaden its moat by constantly testing how far it can get away with reprehensible policies, I would dearly love to take part.

    I am increasingly unable to say “meh” as an investor in the face of revelations just because the company is performing so well. I love the products and services but am Increasingly disillusioned by the dirty laundry being washed in public and what’s being revealed.

    Given the revelation of its tactics that’s hardly surprising and the brand equity is tarnishing, in my view. Ethically I have a real problem with way Apple is conducting itself and every story holds 1000 reminders of Microsoft-of-old like market manipulation and anti-trust, tactics, just as regulators mow accuse Apple.

    The optics (what we quaintly used to call PR FUBARS) are simply awful however exaggerated they might be and unforgivably mismanaged, again and again and again. It’s simply unfathomable Apple has allowed itself to be tarnished like this while pretending nothing is wrong

    This is not an example of the culture I used to admire. I’m saddened by my increasing disillusionment with Apple Corporate, a term which reeks of anachronisms more suited to Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.

    Sadly I’m travelling to Switzerland on Thursday until Monday for a reunion with school friends in Gstaad and 1PM EST is about 7pm Swiss time, just about when after a bottle of schnapps and a lot of fondue we’ll be skiing down the mountain at night lighting the pistes holding real flaming torches, likely drunk as skunks.

    I think I’ll have to pass but I have to say I would have loved to have taken part. I wonder if they have reception on the mountaintop restaurant -though….

    February 7, 2022
  5. Tommo_UK said:
    For the record, I love the App Store and support Apple’s implementation of stringent quality control and protection from malware.

    It’s the broader picture increasingly unfolding I find so troubling and the company’s seeming inability to stay out the firing line.

    “Written by lawyers, for lawyers,” as someone said in another thread doesn’t resonate with regulators or the public.

    Apple thrived on trust and loyalty. Mistrust and suspicion means it has to thrive and maintain its special treatment and exceptional accommodation by regulators and loyalty from consumers by its next big thing not its cultural reputation.

    Apple’s beautiful calligraphy seems to be reverting to harsh courier and legalistic posturing in the court of public opinion.

    You can make all the excuses you want; repugnant practices written to counter other repugnant practices do not make for a compelling brand narrative.

    What next, an Apple keynote with “one more thing” being led by Apple Legal talking about App Store terms? Jesus shoot me now.

    February 7, 2022
  6. Michael Goldfeder said:
    @ Tommo: Apple isn’t the entity using the media platforms to attack anyone, especially developers, who have been paid and developed their businesses to the tune of several hundred billions of dollars from the App Store since its inception. They didn’t create that wealth all on their own. Apple was sued by Epic Games who incurred defeat at their own hands. A self inflicted injury. Have fun on appeal.

    As for the primary issue in all of this political and regulatory charade is the undeniable fact that consumers are quite happy with the current Apple structure. Why aren’t the consumers outraged at Apple? Do they want to forfeit their privacy? Put their financial information at risk for being hacked so an App Developer can garner a few more pennies and nickels? I doubt it.

    How about every Uber and Lyft driver protest their fee split and go independent by purchasing a $50,000.00 taxi medallion to become their own boss? Maybe even more these days as that figure was from 1999.

    “I don’t expect Americans to understand how global perception differs so much from their bubble and echo chamber but Toto, Apple isn’t in Kansas any more.” While that might be true, I’m not looking at this situation as the “Wizard of Oz”, but more like the George Orwell book: “Animal Farm.”

    Tim Cook is doing what a CEO needs to do and IMO, he’s doing an outstanding job in this situation by protecting the consumers. App Developers have a choice, just like Tim Sweeney. I have yet to hear anyone come out and state the obvious: “We all want access to Apple’s iOS customers. Because they have more money to spend!

    The antitrust argument is a load of manure to obfuscate their real purpose. That goes for all of these lame Politicians, Regulators, Khan, and Vestager too!

    February 7, 2022
    • Tommo_UK said:
      I didn’t say Apple was materially doing anything wrong. In fact I praised the App Store model.

      I said Apple Corporate had allowed an existential threat to its brand equity to develop for no other reasons than carelessness and a separation of cultures between hierarchies if the company leasing to a less unified, agile, whole and organisation.

      That’s not good management. It’s poor.

      February 7, 2022
      • Michael Goldfeder said:
        @Tommo: Good management, poor management, or any management in-between isn’t going to solve the issue of an App Developer’s opinion as to what they ought to be entitled to paying and receiving regarding fees inside the App Store. An existential threat is being fanned by Epic Games who didn’t fare so well in their quest to become the point person on this dubious antitrust crusade of sorts. Or perhaps playing the role of the “Pied Piper” so others will follow the music being played. Everyone is entitled to both their opinions, friends, and what course they choose to follow.

        “Success is not illegal for Apple.” It’s not illegal for App Developers as well. From what I’m extrapolating from your comments, the poor management decisions at Apple by not acquiescing to the demands of the mob is thereby creating the “existential threat” to its brand? Or do I have that all wrong?

        There are rules that are followed in just about everything individuals and corporations do each and every day. Not following the rules results in consequences. Apple management isn’t going to cave into the demands of the mob. Regulators too will be challenged as well. I don’t expect Apple to give away the keys to their car, the car, and accept any and all responsibility associated when the App Developer crashes that car.

        Perception is what individuals choose to see. A mob demanding free access to the App Store, is no different than me demanding that Costco quit charging me a yearly: “Costco Tax” for walking inside their store to make my consumer purchases. I’ll let you know how that works out for me once I hear back from “Lina” or anyone else who wants to take up that case.

        February 8, 2022
  7. Jonny T said:
    Given a year or two we are going to look back on this episode as yet one more storm in a teacup. I have seen so many over the years, when we were all hot and bothered, and yet with time, Apple proved over and over again that it had been right doing what it did.

    Not saying that can’t or won’t change, but Tommo is a good example of ‘hot and bothered’ just now. Way over the top. Without being rude of course, just each to their own.

    PS I’m reminded of the ‘customer is alway right’ rule number one. Rule number two is ‘see rule number one’. And here? Apple’s customers are not the developers, much as they might like to be.

    February 8, 2022
  8. Brian Loftus said:
    i am sorry I will not be able to make it. For another session, consider a GDPR compliance expert (Horace has a great guy) to explain the issue that Meta faces. I cannot understand for the life of me why Meta’s algorithms for European customers cannot be run on servers located in European countries. I must be missing something.

    February 8, 2022

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