EU fines Apple €1.8bn for breaking streaming rules

Apple logo on a shop frontReuters

Apple has been fined €1.8 billion by the EU, for breaking competition laws.

The penalty is for preventing Spotify and other music streaming services from informing users of payment options outside the Apple app store.

The European Commission’s decision was triggered by a complaint by the Swedish music streaming service over this restriction and Apple’s 30% fee.

The EU competition enforcer said Apple abused its dominant position in the market for a decade.

Margrethe Vestager said, Apple had done this by “restricting developers from informing consumers about alternative, cheaper music services available outside of the Apple ecosystem.

“This is illegal under EU antitrust rules,” she said.

She ordered the US tech giant to remove all the restrictions, and to refrain from similar practices in the future.

Apple has said it will appeal against the decision, saying there was no evidence consumers had been harmed.

“The decision was reached despite the Commission’s failure to uncover any credible evidence of consumer harm, and ignores the realities of a market that is thriving, competitive, and growing fast,” the company said in a statement.

“The primary advocate for this decision, and the biggest beneficiary, is Spotify, a company based in Stockholm, Sweden.

Spotify has the largest music streaming app in the world, and has met with the European Commission more than 65 times during this investigation,” it said.

Apple also said the Swedish company pays no commission to them as it sells its subscriptions on its website and not on the app store.

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