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EU Commission fines Apple $1.9bn after Spotify complaint

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EU Commission fines Apple $1.9bn after Spotify complaint

The EU Commission has decided that Apple must pay a $1.9 billion fine for breaching antitrust laws. The decision results from an ongoing dispute between Apple and Spotify, during which Apple has been accused of disadvantaging music streaming providers on the App Store.

Why is Apple being fined by the EU Commission?

As the only provider of an App Store for iOS devices, Apple has much control over all aspects of the app purchasing process and user experience. Being in a position of power comes with much responsibility, and any shortcomings can result in dire consequences.

Now, the EU Commission has ruled that Apple will have to pay over $1.9bn in fines after breaching antitrust laws and maintaining unfair App Store rules that disadvantage music streaming providers. According to an official press release by the EU Commission, “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.”

This approach has put other music streaming providers at a disadvantage and negatively affected iOS users by not providing enough information that would allow them to make informed decisions about their purchases. As a result, some may have ended up paying higher prices for their 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.”

According to Wired, the process was started in 2019 by Spotify, a fierce competitor of Apple and its music streaming service. The two companies have been involved in ongoing disputes over business practices, their role in the music industry, and various aspects of competition. However, Apple believes the accusations are baseless and that the EU Commission has not conducted enough investigations to impose such a high fine.

In a press release, the company argues that “Spotify has a 56 percent share of Europe’s music streaming market — more than double their closest competitor’s — and pays Apple nothing for the services that have helped make them one of the most recognizable brands in the world.” Moreover, Apple accuses Spotify of trying to bend the rules for its own benefit when it already benefits the most out of all the streaming services.

While the fine has already been imposed, disputes of such kind will not likely be over anytime soon. In fact, the EU is taking further steps to ensure fairness in the market and protect companies within its borders.

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