Apple announced on Friday that it’s once again updated its rules about how Dutch dating apps can use third-party payment systems, after the company had “productive conversations with the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM).” The updated rules give developers more flexibility about which payment systems they use, change the language users see when they go to pay, and remove other restrictions that the previous rules put in place.
While the rules aren’t wide-reaching (again, they only apply to Dutch dating apps), they do show what Apple’s willing to do to comply with government regulation — which it could be facing a lot more of as the EU and US gear up to fight tech monopolies, and potentially even force the company to ditch the iPhone’s Lightning port.
In December the ACM announced a ruling that Apple had to let dating apps use payment services besides the one built into iOS, after the regulator received a complaint from Match Group, the company behind dating services like Tinder, Match.com, and OkCupid. Since then, Apple has proposed a variety of solutions for complying with the order, which the regulator has said aren’t good enough. In May, the ACM said that Apple’s most recent rules, the ones prior to the Friday update, were improvements over its past ideas, but that they still didn’t comply with Dutch and European laws.
The changes Apple announced on Friday are a significant update to its previous proposal, which it published in March. The rules still make developers show users a message before they’re shown the third-party payment screen, which can be either in the app, or on an external website, but Apple’s new proposed language is less likely to scare potential customers off in my opinion.