Apple faces a $55 million fine over dating app dispute in the Netherlands

The Dutch Consumer Protection Agency on Monday imposed a 10th weekly fine on Apple for failing to comply with an order allowing dating app providers in the Netherlands to use non-Apple payment methods.

The Consumers and Markets Authority said its fines against the company in the long-running dispute are now 50 million euros ($55 million), the maximum possible under its current order.

It said Apple presented a new proposal on Sunday to comply with the order – a move the watchdog welcomed but came too late to avoid the fine.

Apple’s practice of requiring developers to use its system and pay commissions of 15-30% on purchases of digital goods has come under scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers around the world.

Although the Dutch case is limited to dating apps in the Netherlands, it could set a precedent for the US company, which denies wrongdoing. Since January, the ACM has been imposing fines on the company in the dispute on a weekly basis.

Apple's iPhone
Apple had come up with a new proposal to comply with the order on Sunday, but it came too late to avoid the fine.
AFP via Getty Images

The ACM said Monday that Apple’s new compliance proposal is specific enough that it expects to be able to determine “as soon as possible” whether the company has complied with its order. It said it would study the proposal and consult with dating app makers such as Tinder owner Match Group Inc.

Depending on the outcome, the agency said it may issue additional periodic fines “with potentially higher penalties” to encourage compliance.

Under new rules agreed last week between the European Commission, EU governments and EU lawmakers, Apple must open its app store to alternative payments once the legislation goes into effect in October. Apple faces a $55 million fine over dating app dispute in the Netherlands


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