Apple Set to Be Hit by EU Antitrust Order in App Store Fight With Spotify 

  • Potential App Store Rules Ban: Apple faces an EU ban on its App Store rules, restricting music-streaming services from promoting alternative subscription options.
  • Impending Hefty Fine: European regulators may impose a fine of up to 10% of Apple’s annual sales due to alleged anti-competitive practices.
  • Prohibited Practice: The EU decision aims to halt Apple’s practice of preventing music services from redirecting users to subscription options outside the App Store.
  • Originating Complaint: The investigation stems from a complaint by Spotify, which argued that Apple’s rules forced it to increase subscription prices to cover App Store-related costs.
  • European Commission Chargesheet: Earlier this year, the European Commission filed charges against Apple, deeming its conditions unnecessary and potentially leading to higher costs for customers.
  • Upcoming Decision: The final decision is expected early next year, with Apple and the European Commission yet to provide comments on the matter.
Apple Braces for EU Antitrust Action Amid App Store Battle with Spotify
This picture taken in Toulouse, southwestern France, shows a screen displaying the Apple logo and the European flag.
(Image Credit: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP via Getty Images; Bloomberg Law)

Apple Faces EU Antitrust Action Over App Store Dispute with Spotify

Apple is bracing for a potential setback as European Union (EU) regulators gear up to impose restrictions on its App Store rules related to certain music-streaming services. According to a report from Bloomberg News on Wednesday, the tech giant may also face a substantial fine from EU authorities.

Insiders familiar with the ongoing investigation revealed that EU regulators are finalizing a decision that would bar Apple from enforcing rules that prevent music services from diverting users away from the App Store to alternative subscription options.

The decision is expected to be officially announced early next year, with the looming possibility of Apple being slapped with a fine amounting to as much as 10% of its annual sales, as reported by Bloomberg.

The origins of this regulatory scrutiny trace back nearly four years when Sweden’s Spotify Technology (SPOT.N) lodged a complaint. Spotify alleged that it had been compelled to increase the prices of its monthly subscriptions to offset the financial burdens imposed by Apple’s App Store regulations.

Earlier this year, the European Commission took formal action against Apple by filing a chargesheet. The commission argued that Apple’s conditions were unwarranted and could lead to higher costs for customers. The regulatory body contends that these rules stifle competition and harm consumers.

As of now, neither Apple nor representatives from the European Commission have issued immediate responses to Reuters’ requests for comments on the matter.

During afternoon trading, Apple’s shares experienced marginal gains, reflecting the anticipation and uncertainty surrounding the potential repercussions of the EU regulatory decision. Investors and industry observers will be closely monitoring developments as the tech giant navigates this regulatory challenge.

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Source(s): Bloomberg

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