EU slaps $2 billion anti-trust fine on Apple following Spotify's complaint

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | March 04, 2024 IST

Apple

London, March 4: The European Union on Monday fined Apple 1.84 billion euros (about $2 billion) for allegedly abusing its dominant position in the market for the distribution of music streaming apps to iPhone and iPad users via its App Store.

The Commission's investigation found that Apple bans music streaming app developers from fully informing iOS users about alternative and cheaper music subscription services available outside of the app and from providing any instructions about how to subscribe to such offers.

The EU’s investigation was announced after Swedish music streaming company Spotify filed an antitrust complaint over so-called "Apple Tax" in 2020.

"For a decade, Apple abused its dominant position in the market for the distribution of music streaming apps through the App Store," said Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President in charge of competition policy in a statement.

"They did so by restricting developers from informing consumers about alternative, cheaper music services available outside of the Apple ecosystem. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules, so today we have fined Apple over 1.8 billion euros."

The Commission also ordered Apple to remove the anti-steering provisions and to refrain from repeating the infringement or from adopting practices with an equivalent object or effect in the future.

"Today's decision concludes that Apple's anti-steering provisions amount to unfair trading conditions, in breach of Article 102(a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU')," said the ruling.

Apple's conduct, which lasted for almost 10 years, "may have led many iOS users to pay significantly higher prices for music streaming subscriptions because of the high commission fee imposed by Apple on developers and passed on to consumers in the form of higher subscription prices for the same service on the Apple App Store".

Any person or company affected by anti-competitive behaviour may bring the matter before the courts of the Member States and seek damages, said the Commission.

 

(IANS)

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