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Apple Charged With Breaking EU Competition Rules With App Store

Apple has been charged with breaking EU competition rules regarding how its App Store policies affect music streaming.

The charges were brought in 2019 by Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek, who claimed Apple was “limiting choice and stifling innovation” with their app store.

Apple denies this, and claims Spotify are after special treatment.

“At the core of this case is Spotify’s demand they should be able to advertise alternative deals on their iOS app, a practice that no store in the world allows,” the company said in a statement.

“Once again, they want all the benefits of the App Store but don’t think they should have to pay anything for that. The Commission’s argument on Spotify’s behalf is the opposite of fair competition.”

The European Commission wasn’t convinced.

“Apple’s rules distort competition in the market for music streaming by raising the costs of competing music streaming app developers. This in turn leads to higher prices for consumers for their in-app music subscriptions on iOS devices,” the European Commission wrote in a statement.

European Commission anti-trust regulator Margrethe Vestager tweeted that the EC’s “preliminary conclusion” was that Apple is in breach of EU competition law.

“Apple Music compete with other music streaming services,” she wrote. “But Apple charges high commission fees on rivals in the App store & forbids them to inform of alternative subscription options. Consumers losing out.”

Apple now faces a large fine, and may be forced to change the way the App Store operates.


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