Apple’s latest attempt to defuse criticism of the App Store has failed.
Just before Christmas, the Dutch competition authority ACM published
a judgment ordering Apple to “adjust unreasonable conditions” and open the App Store to alternative payment systems in the dating category. Apple appealed against the decision, but nevertheless announced earlier this month that
rule changes were underway and that dating app developers would be able to apply for new rights – codified as the StoreKit External Link Entitlement and the StoreKit External Purchase Entitlement – to direct users to other payment options.
The ACM announced a few days later that it would
review Apple’s plans and check whether they met the requirements of its decision. This has now been done – and the authority has
declined to give Apple’s changes its approval.
“Apple has failed to satisfy the requirements on several points,” the ACM explains. “The most important one is that Apple has failed to adjust its conditions, as a result of which dating-app providers are still unable to use other payment systems. At the moment, dating-app providers can merely express their ‘interest’.
“In addition, Apple has raised several barriers for dating-app providers to the use of third-party payment systems. That, too, is at odds with ACM’s requirements. For example, Apple seemingly forces app providers to make a choice: either refer to payment systems outside of the app or to an alternative payment system. That is not allowed. Providers must be able to choose both options.”
Apple must now pay an initial fine of €5m (roughly £4.2m), and the same again each week as long as it fails to comply with the order, up to a maximum of €50m. We await the company’s response.
This article originally appeared on
Macworld Sweden. Translation (using
DeepL) and additional reporting by David Price.