But Apple's objection to the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets' full order is yet to be litigated.
From "Apple changes unfair conditions, allows alternative payments methods in dating apps" posted Saturday by the ACM:
Apple has changed its unfair conditions, and will now allow different methods of payment in Dutch dating apps. With this concession, Apple will meet the requirements that the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) set under European and Dutch competition rules. Until recently, customers of dating apps had only been able to pay using the payment method that Apple imposed. In ACM’s opinion, Apple abused its dominant position with those practices. From now on, dating-app providers are able to let their customers pay in different ways. ACM forced these changes by imposing an order subject to periodic penalty payments. In the end, the sum of all penalty payments totaled 50 million euros.
In August 2021, ACM imposed an order subject to periodic penalty payments on Apple. Apple filed an objection against this order. At the same time, Apple asked the court to suspend the order as well as publication of ACM’s decision. The part of the order that is relevant here was upheld by the court in December 2021, which meant that ACM was allows to publish that part of the decision. The other part of the order was suspended by the court until after the objection process, and ACM cannot publish this part. It then took a while before Apple finally complied with the cleared part of the order. In January 2022, the periodic penalty payments started to kick in, and went up to the maximum of 50 million euros. That is why Apple must pay a total penalty of 50 million euros. Apple now complies with the rules. That is why ACM no longer needs to impose a new order subject to periodic penalty payments. Over the past few months, ACM had collected information from dating-app providers and independent experts before its assessment that Apple complied with the order.
The procedure regarding the objection against ACM’s full order is still ongoing.
Robert Paul Leitao's take:
This appears to be a pyrrhic victory. What’s the savings for the developers? I believe it’s 3%. From what I’ve read, Apple will still be paid in the range of 27% and the developer will have to cover the merchant transaction fees. Apple can’t fix stupid and customers that get sucked into changing their payment scheme for the benefit of the developers are the real losers due to the risk of greater privacy deprivation.
As I’ve said many times, there are better ways for Apple to build recurring revenue streams for services than the App Store model. Watch what happens.