Apple dropped a requirement for a separate binary that it wanted to impose on Dutch dating apps that wanted to claim a legal right to use non-Apple payment technology to process their in-app purchases.
The company previously argued that a separate binary was a “simple requirement” that did not hamper its claimed compliance with ACM’s antitrust injunction. (However, the Dutch regulator continued to disagree.)
In an update to “StoreKit External Entitlement for Dating Apps” posted on Apple’s developer site yesterday, the company said it had been removed the requirement that dating app developers in the Netherlands who choose to use the permissions create and use a separate binary.
“This change means developers can include both permissions in their existing dating app, but still have to restrict their use to the app on the Dutch storefront and on devices running iOS or iPadOS,” Apple noted.
Other changes Apple made yesterday concern payment processor criteria – with the tech giant saying it is providing “updated and more specific criteria for evaluating non-Apple payment processors that dating app developers in the Netherlands can use”. — as well as changes in the area of consumer information.
To the latter, Apple had added a requirement that Dutch dating app developers using the permissions must show users an in-app notification explaining that they will be making purchases through an external payment system — “and the possible impact of this choice on the user,” as Apple’s update casually puts it.
The company writes that it’s “adjusting the language on the modal sheet and reducing the number of times the sheet needs to be viewed” — so it’s relatively safe to assume the original notification was worded in a way that’s also considered scary /dissuasive for users, making them less likely to make an off-platform payment at all.
(Apple has been criticized along these lines for other types of notifications it bakes in iOS — such as when users want to give third-party keyboards full permission to run on the platform.)
Throughout this story, the ACM has chided Apple for creating undue friction for the developers in question – resulting in a string of fines for non-compliance since January: ten fines totaling €5 million, which is a (current) total of 50 million euros.
Apple and the ACM were contacted with questions about development.