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EU proceedings against Apple: Extended complaint expected from the Commission

According to a report, the EU Commission wants to raise further allegations against Apple in the antitrust proceedings against the App Store rules. Over the coming weeks, the Commission will submit additional complaints to Apple about distortion of competition in music streaming, the news agency reports Reuters on Monday, citing an informed person.

A supplement to the allegations in an ongoing case usually indicates that in the course of the investigation the Commission was able to gather new evidence, such as Reuters explained. It is not yet known what complaints the Commission is preparing; neither the EU Commission nor Apple commented on the report to the news agency.

A year ago, the EU Commission accused Apple of unfair competition: the group had a monopoly in selling iPhone apps and was using its position of power to disadvantage competitors in the music streaming market. The procedure is based, among other things, on a complaint from the streaming market leader Spotify.

The regulators were particularly bothered by Apple’s stipulation that digital content may only be offered via Apple’s in-app purchase interface – and Apple withholds up to 30 percent commission at the same time. Ultimately, this leads to higher prices because some providers pass on the commission to the end customer.

Apple also prohibits app providers from referring to cheaper options, which was also criticized by the EU Commission. Apple puts music services at a considerable disadvantage – to the advantage of its own streaming service.

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Apple has already backtracked on some of the rules that are the subject of the complaint. Certain apps – including Spotify – will soon be allowed to integrate a link to account management into their app for the first time. Apple has also prepared interfaces for the integration of external payment services, but continues to insist on a commission that is due with every sale.

At the same time, the EU Commission is conducting further investigations against Apple, including with regard to the iPhone’s sealed NFC interface. With the law for digital markets (Digital Markets Act – DMA), the regulators want to enshrine certain requirements for gatekeepers in law, Apple is threatened with drastic changes for the App Store and iOS.

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