EU Accuses Apple of Breaching Competition Law

Regulators from the European Union are accusing Apple of violating parts of their antitrust rules, claiming that Apple “distorts” competition for music streaming through the rules it uses for the App Store.

The EU’s Executive Commission said on Friday that they object to Apple’s application of their App Store rules for music streaming apps other than Apple Music. The main concern from the EU Commission seems to stem from Apples 30% commission fee, which is automatically applied when app developers sell content to consumers.

Further investigation into the complaint, originally filed by Spotify, found that this 30% charge was in most cases passed on directly to the consumer. 

The EU Commission also raised concerns about a lack of transparency, as Apple prevents app developers from advertising cheaper payment alternatives outside of Apple’s pay network.

“Our preliminary finding is that Apple is the gatekeeper to users iPhones and iPads via the App Store. By setting strict rules on the App Store that disadvantage competing music streaming services, Apple deprives users of cheaper music streaming choices and distorts competition,” said EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in a press release Friday morning.

Apple did not respond to reporters request for comment.

According to EU competition law, a company may be fined a percentage of their annual revenue for breaches of the law. For Apple, this could mean billions of dollars in damages.

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