I would not like to be the person who brings the subpoenas to the offices of Apple , as I have the feeling that such a person (well, people actually, but you understand me) should be greeted with a coldness that would make the planet’s poles pale with envy. For some time now, some of the Cupertino policies have been under the microscope of the regulators, and the complaints by third parties have served to further intensify this tour de force that Apple has been facing for some time as a result of its policies in relation to the App Store .
As is well known, Apple receives a commission for each purchase made through its app store , and this is limited not only to the apps sold, but also to those that provide access to paid subscription services. A long-standing claim by developers is to be able to include, in their apps, links to means of payment other than the Cupertino in-app purchasing platform, but they refuse to do so from the outset.
These policies are the ones that have led to a most notorious trial in recent times, the confrontation between Apple and Epic Games , which has become one of the most visible heads in the fight for those of Cupertino to change their App Store policies, allowing apps to include means of payment that do not go through their platform. A legal battle in which, at least for the moment, the creators of Fornite are winning.
And now, against that swell, we have learned from The Verge that the Netherlands Consumer and Markets Authority, after several years of investigation, has decided to force Apple to that allows dating apps for iOS to include links to external means of payment , that is, without going through the company’s payment platform which, in this way, will lose that juicy 30% that it receives so far for each renewal of subscriptions to these services.
Some application providers depend on Apple’s App Store, and Apple takes advantage of that dependency , “writes Martijn Snoep, chairman of the regulator’s board. “A pple has special responsibilities due to its dominant position. That is why Apple must also take the interests of application providers seriously and set reasonable terms . ”
And why only services to find a partner? Because despite the fact that the regulator was already studying this problem before, it decided to focus on dating apps after receiving a complaint from Match Group, which owns services such as Tinder, Match.com and OkCupid. However, this decision sets an important precedent, at least in the Netherlands, so it can be understood that similar pronouncements will not be long delayed for other types of services.
The decision also does not give Apple much leeway. The technology company will have to allow these alternative means of payment in dating apps as of January 15 or, otherwise, it will face a fine with an amount of five million euros per week of default, which will have a limit of 50 million euros.
Apple, of course, disagrees and has already communicated its intention to file an appeal . In statements to The Verge by Marni Goldberg, a company spokesperson, he has denied that they have a dominant position in the software distribution market in the Netherlands, he has valued the investments made by the technology company to offer the platform, and appeals to the right to apply to users of the same a fee for all services and technologies that Apple provides them.
The appeal is the most logical response by Apple, and may serve to delay the entry into force of this regulator’s decision. However, more and more regulators around the world are seriously questioning the model applied by Apple in its app store, so every day it is more or less likely , but this model has the days numbered .