EU attacks Apple with antitrust lawsuit over Spotify complaints

The EU Executive Commission says it opposes Apple’s way of doing business, which would drive rivals like Spotify away and end up costing its streaming music consumers more. Apple has dismissed the charges.

European Union regulators have accused Apple of violating the bloc’s antitrust rules, alleging the company is distorting competition for music streaming through its App Store rules.

The EU has expressed concern that Apple is forcing developers of apps selling digital content to use its in-house payment system, which charges a 30% commission on all subscriptions. Its investigation found that the charges ended up being passed on to consumers.

The investigation follows a complaint from popular music streaming service Spotify.

The EU has also expressed concern that Apple is preventing developers from telling users about cheaper payment methods.

“Our preliminary finding is that Apple is the gatekeeper for iPhone and iPad users through the App Store,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a press release.

“By setting tough rules on the App Store that put competing music streaming services at a disadvantage, Apple is depriving users of cheaper music streaming choices and skewing the competition. “

“This is done by charging competitors a high commission fee on every transaction in the App Store and prohibiting them from informing their customers of alternative subscription options,” she said.

Fair competition

This is the EU’s first antitrust charge against Apple, a move that could result in fines of up to 10% of its global revenue.

Apple on Friday firmly rejected accusations by EU regulators that it was illegally using its App Store to take out music streaming rivals.

Spotify wants “all the benefits of the App Store but doesn’t think they should have to pay anything,” an Apple spokesperson said, adding that the EU’s case was “the opposite fair competition. “

The EU charges come a week ahead of Apple’s confrontation with Epic Games in a United States following a lawsuit brought by the “Fortnite” creator alleging that Apple has abused its dominant position in the video game market. mobile applications.

Epic complained to the Commission about the same issues.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority last month opened an investigation into Apple after complaints about the iPhone maker’s terms and conditions for app developers were unfair.