Apple fined €1.8bn by EU for breaking music streaming rules

Apple Music

Apple Music

Apple received a hefty fine of €1.8bn (£1.5bn) from the EU for violating competition laws in the music streaming sector. The European Commission revealed that the Apple had barred music streaming services from informing users about payment options outside the Apple app store. Margrethe Vestager, the competition commissioner, pointed out that Apple had abused its dominant market position for a decade.

She demanded that Apple eliminate all the restrictions. However, Apple stated it would challenge the decision. This move by the European Commission was prompted by a complaint from Swedish music streaming service Spotify, which was dissatisfied with the restriction and Apple’s 30% fee.

Vestager highlighted that Apple had prevented “developers from informing consumers about alternative, cheaper music services available outside of the Apple ecosystem.” According to her, this action was against EU antitrust regulations.

Harm to Consumers

Nevertheless, Apple intends to appeal, arguing that there was no proof of harm to consumers. The company stated, “We reached the decision despite the Commission’s failure to uncover any credible evidence of consumer harm, and we ignore the realities of a market that is thriving, competitive, and growing fast.”

Apple emphasized that Spotify, a Stockholm-based company, was the main advocate for this decision and the primary beneficiary. “Spotify has the largest music streaming app in the world, and has met with the EC [European Commission] more than 65 times during this investigation,” Apple stated.

Spotify hailed the fine imposed on Apple as “an important moment” and noted that it sent “a powerful message” that “no company, not even a monopoly like Apple, can wield power abusively to control how other companies interact with their customers.”

Apple clarified that Spotify pays no commission to them since it sells its subscriptions on its website rather than through the app store. Spotify had argued that the restrictions favored Apple’s rival music streaming service, Apple Music.

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