The Netherlands

On behalf of the team

In Q1 of 2022, the ACM ensured whether Apple amended its policy for dating apps in accordance with the conditions imposed by the ACM on Apple in order to prevent possible abuse of a dominant position. In December 2021, the ACM demanded that within two months, Apple amend certain conditions, deemed unreasonable by the ACM, applicable to access to dating app providers to the Dutch App Store.[1]Press release ACM of 24 December 2021, ‘ACM requires that Apple amend unreasonable App Store conditions’. In addition, Apple had to ensure that dating app providers would be given the opportunity to refer, in their app, to payment options outside the app.

It became clear in January 2022 that Apple had still not introduced this latter possibility, and it therefore incurred the first penalty of EUR 5 million.[2]Press release ACM of 24 January 2022, ‘Apple does not meet the requirements of the ACM’. Next, in February 2022, Apple proposed to the ACM that it would amend the policy in such a way that dating app providers would have to make an entirely new app to use an alternative payment system. The ACM ruled that it would be unreasonable to ask the dating app providers to modify their existing apps, and did not approve the proposal.[3]Press release ACM or 14 February 2022, ‘ACM: Creation of new app is unnecessary and unreasonable condition for Apple to impose on dating app providers’.

On 27 March, Apple subsequently amended the proposal, which the ACM will now assess and, if approved, will submit to market parties.[4]Press release ACM or 28 March 2022, ‘ACM assesses Apple’s modified proposal on terms and conditions for dating apps’. However, Apple has meanwhile forfeited the maximum penalty of 50 million euros.