The European Union (EU) plans to fine Apple about US$500 million for its “anticompetitive” Apple Store policy regarding music streaming, reports The Financial Times (a subscription is required to read the article).

The EU claims the tech giant illegally blocked music streaming services such as Spotify from informing customers about other ways to subscribe to their services, and thereby evade Apple’s commission on in-app purchases.

All this goes back to March 13, 2019 when, Spotify filed an anti-competition complaint about Apple with the EU, claiming the Cupertino, California-based company limited innovation and constraining user choice by refusing to allow Spotify and other firms access to technology and information via the App Store. Two days later Apple released the following statement addressing Spotify’s claims: We believe that technology achieves its true potential when we infuse it with human creativity and ingenuity. From our earliest days, we’ve built our devices, software and services to help artists, musicians, creators and visionaries do what they do best.

Sixteen years ago, we launched the iTunes Store with the idea that there should be a trusted place where users discover and purchase great music and every creator is treated fairly. The result revolutionized the music industry, and our love of music and the people who make it are deeply engrained in Apple.

Eleven years ago, the App Store brought that same passion for creativity to mobile apps. In the decade since, the App Store has helped create many millions of jobs, generated more than $120 billion for developers and created new industries through businesses started and grown entirely in the App Store ecosystem.

On June 30, 2023, Apple tried to fend off a revised European Union (EU) antitrust charge and possible hefty fine linked to claims it prevents music streaming companies such as Spotify from informing users of other buying options outside its App Store, reported Reuters. The tech giant set out its arguments to senior European Commission officials and their peers at national competition agencies at a closed hearing in Brussels.

Apple has repeatedly said there is no merit in the case triggered by a Spotify complaint in 2019, pointing to the Swedish music streaming service’s dominant market share in Europe, where Apple Music trails in third or fourth place in most EU countries. The tech giant also argues that it’s revised rules to allow reader apps such as Spotify and Netflix to include links to their website for sign-ups and user payments, allowing app developers to bypass its controversial 30% App Store fee.

In February 2023, the European Commission sent a Statement of Objections to Apple clarifying its concerns over App Store rules for music streaming providers.

The EU is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its policies aim “to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs, and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries, and regional development.”

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today