By Alice Seeley

The Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), a Dutch antitrust watchdog, has fined Apple Inc. $5.7 million for not allowing software application makers in the Netherlands to use other payment methods for dating apps on the Apple App Store.

ACM filed the charge against Apple in August 2021 after investigating several complaints. However, it was not enforced until Jan. 2022 because Apple challenged the claim in court and lost the case.

After the ruling in December, a deadline of Jan. 15 was set for Apple to comply with the ACM order. Apple missed the deadline, which led to ACM issuing $5.7 million against Apple.

ACM will continue to fine Apple $5.7 million once a week until the company makes the changes ordered by ACM. Apple’s total fine is currently at $22 million.

Apple proposed a plan to ACM that would force developers to submit special versions of its apps for the Dutch App Store. ACM has denied this proposal saying that it puts an unreasonable burden on developers and does not amount to compliance.

Apple has not proposed any new plans since their last plan was rejected. However, in a blog post made by Apple, the company implied that it had settled matters with ACM by allowing dating app makers to submit a new app with alternative payment methods enabled. However, neither Apple nor ACM have confirmed if that is true or not.

ACM stated that they “have clearly explained to Apple how they can comply. So far, however, they have refused to put forward any serious proposals.” 

Apple’s App Store requires app developers to only use its payment system with a commission of 30% on any in-app payments, a requirement that has come under heavy criticism lately across the world.