EU Likely to Charge Apple With Anti-Competitive Behavior This Week

The European Commission will this week bring charges against Apple over concerns that its App Store rules break EU competition law, reports the Financial Times. The charges relate to a two-year-old antitrust dispute with Spotify.

European Commisssion

Margrethe Vestager, the EU's competition chief, will late this week publicly issue charges against Apple over concerns that the rules it sets for developers on its App store break EU law, according to several people with direct knowledge of the announcement.

In 2019, Spotify filed a complaint with the European Commission, alleging that Apple enforces ‌App Store‌ rules that "purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience," accusing the company of "acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers."

Spotify highlighted that Apple's 30% commission on ‌‌App Store‌‌ purchases, including in-app subscriptions, forces the music streaming service to charge existing subscribers $12.99 per month for its Premium plan on the ‌‌App Store‌‌, just to collect the $9.99 per month it usually charges.

Spotify argues this gives Apple an unfair advantage because it's unable to compete with Apple Music's standard $9.99 per month price within the ‌‌‌App Store‌‌‌.

The Spotify antitrust case is one of several opened by the European Commission into Apple's business practices in June last year. It's not yet known what the EU's charges could involve, but Apple could be forced to pay a fine or make changes to its ‌‌App Store‌‌ business model in Europe to foster greater competition.

Last month, Reuters reported that EU regulators were in the process of finalizing a charge sheet against Apple in related to Spotify's antitrust complaint, while FT's sources warned that the timing of the charge could still slip. Apple has denied allegations of anti-competitive behavior, and said at the time of Spotify's complaint that its rival was using "its financial motivations in misleading rhetoric."

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Top Rated Comments

Wildkraut Avatar
41 months ago

> Does what's best for the consumer and for developer
> Gets charged a fine for doing the right thing.

Pretty stupid, EU.
How did Apple FanBoys used to say?
There are enough alternatives out there, I you don't like it, move along.

Same applies here, if Apple don't like the rules of EU market, move along.
Simply as that... hahaha :D
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wildkraut Avatar
41 months ago

Tell me one tech company that does not in some way deal or support China. Where do you think the components are made? Apple cares more about privacy than others and they have not given me reason to doubt that. The fact that Facebook and others are pissed off lets me know they are on the right track. And Apple has never said they do not access your data they state they do not sell it. They use it to make their services better for the purposes of better products. And to that end. End to end encrypted iCloud backs could be good but you also may have a lot of people lose data for forgotten passwords and what not. And worse than Google. I think not. They are selling your data to companies you have not even heard of before and who knows if those companies are all legit.
Google does not sell your data, they sell Ad “slots” based on your data, but not directly your data. They would be stupid to sell your data, and giving that precious database out of hands. In other words both companies Apple and Google use your data to improve their services the same way, but Apple plays the good guy in public.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
steggerwoof Avatar
41 months ago

How did Apple FanBoys used to say?
There are enough alternatives out there, I you don't like it, move along.

Same applies here, if Apple don't like the rules of EU market, move along.
Simply as that... hahaha :D
And considering there are twice as many people in the EU than the US that's unlikely to happen ?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wildkraut Avatar
41 months ago

And considering there are twice as many people in the EU than the US that's unlikely to happen ?
Yep, and we know Apple is too greedy to give up a market.
They are even worse than Google at this, they love to spread Human Rights marketing blah blah, Privacy marketing blub blub, etc. At the same time they support China, and choose to stay in their market, despite knowing whats going on there.
Google (not better at many cases), at least has shown more moral at this one.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeanbaptiste/2019/07/19/confirmed-google-terminated-project-dragonfly-its-censored-chinese-search-engine/?sh=6b2f51f87e84

Apple is a populist and plays the good privacy guy in the public, but they have many many other ways to use your data in an anti-competitive way to create new services, apps, devices, predict trends based on third party apps downloads and access, and kill competion that way, just to name a few.
It starts with webservice logs, appleid activity+login+logs, and goes over to *NOT* End2End encrypted iCloud backups, which they probably scrape though to join that data with other collected services data, data analytics at finest level.

Just to complete the image...
https://reclaimthenet.org/apples-macos-caught-sending-user-data-to-apple/
https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/11/apple-lets-some-big-sur-network-traffic-bypass-firewalls/
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-apple-china-games-idUSKBN2950P1
...and probably much more, uncovered yet.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wildkraut Avatar
41 months ago

Microsoft have a 30% commission on their Xbox store (where you buy games, films, etc). Sony has the same on the PS store, as does Nintendo.

Spotify seem to only be going after Apple for being Anti competitive…. and Apple are the ones bullying? ?
These are toys, Phones are general purpose devices, deeply involved into social life and other market types. It’s a payment device, and in a few countries even holds your Personal ID, Driver License, or Social Number. Apple is diving into new territories, and they will have to obey the rules.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iPadified Avatar
41 months ago

> Does what's best for the consumer and for developer
> Gets charged a fine for doing the right thing.

Pretty stupid, EU.
Stupidity has nothing to do with it. They need to test this in court. EC is the watchdog for fair market practice within EU and the must react to this accusation or they break the EU law.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)