Apple Challenges $2 Billion EU Antitrust Fine Over Spotify Complaint

Apple is challenging a $1.95 billion fine imposed by the European Commission for thwarting fair competition from music-streaming rivals, including Spotify (via Bloomberg).

App Store vs EU Feature 2
The Commission fined Apple in March, saying that the company abused its dominant position in the market by forbidding music streaming apps to tell users about cheaper subscription prices outside the app.

The EU crackdown also mandated that Apple "remove anti-steering provisions" for music apps in the European Economic Area (EEA). Apple subsequently updated its App Store rules to let music apps in the EEA inform users of other ways to purchase digital music content or services and to add website links for purchasing digital music subscriptions.

Apple has reportedly filed a suit at the EU's General Court in Luxembourg to challenge the March decision. The Commission told reporters it is ready to defend its decision in court.

When the fine was issued, Apple said the decision was reached "despite the Commission's failure to uncover any credible evidence of consumer harm." Apple also said that the ruling "ignores the realities of a market that is thriving, competitive, and growing fast."

Apple also said that three different related cases mounted against it by the Commission over the past eight years consistently found no evidence of consumer harm and no evidence of anti-competitive behavior.

The fine brought to a close a long-running investigation by the EU, triggered by a complaint from Spotify in 2015 into Apple's treatment of third-party music streaming services on the ‌App Store‌.

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Top Rated Comments

surfzen21 Avatar
4 weeks ago

The EU will be the undoing of Apple.
The EU will be the undoing of the EU.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
truthsteve Avatar
4 weeks ago
Spotify is such a child. Spotify should just build their own phone. Oh what's that, you don't want to risk billions and years of r&d like apple did?
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
scorpio vega Avatar
4 weeks ago
In 2024, it’s not hard to do a quick search for alternatives. It’s how I was able to find 2 months free of Apple Music at Best Buy. And three months of Apple TV.

This is not 2011 when things were hard to find
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Skyscraperfan Avatar
4 weeks ago
It seems American do not really understand the idea of consumer protection. Each time a company uses its market power to make if more difficult for the consumers to make their own choices, consumer protection steps in and that is great.

Just look at the food industry. In the EU each ingredient is considered dangerous until it is proven harmless. In the US it is the other way around: Each ingredient is considered harmless until it is proven dangerous. The result is that burgers at McDonald's have a much longer list of ingredients in the US than in the EU.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Timo_Existencia Avatar
4 weeks ago
The EU creates arbitrary laws that were specifically crafted to apply only to a small number of companies and then the EU supporters say "see! it's obvious that Apple is evil!"

Meanwhile, Spotify does not allow any musicians to create a link external to their app to allow consumers to buy music from a source other than Spotify. So, why isn't Spotify considered culpable under this same EU law? Why don't you say Spotify is breaking so-called anti-steering laws? Because you apply a different standard to Apple than to Spotify.

None of this is about consumer protection. This is pure protectionism for EU companies. And the "Apple is SO EVIL" contingent don't even understand the core principles involved.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
q64ceo Avatar
4 weeks ago
Imagine if Microsoft did what Apple has done re: steering. Heads would be exploding here and rightfully so. But Apple gets a free pass from many here.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)