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Apple Fined €1.8 Billion by EU for Stifling Music Streaming Competition

Five years after Spotify filed a complaint, the European Commission has fined Apple €1.84 billion (around $2 billion) for antitrust violations related to its App Store practices. The ruling specifically targets restrictions that prevented music streaming services from informing users about cheaper subscription options outside of the App Store.

Key Points:

  • The fine: €1.84 billion, considering the duration, severity, and incorrect information provided by Apple during the investigation.
  • The reason: Restricting developers from informing users about alternative subscription options outside the App Store.
  • Spotify’s response: Celebrates the decision as a step toward fair competition and criticizes Apple’s App Store policies.
  • Apple’s response: Denies wrongdoing and plans to appeal the decision.
  • EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA): Apple faces further changes to its App Store policies as the DMA comes into effect in March, allowing third-party app marketplaces and potentially impacting developer fees.
  • Legal landscape: US courts have also ruled against similar practices by Apple, requiring them to allow developers to link out to alternative payment methods.


  • This decision follows a 2020 investigation launched after Spotify’s antitrust complaint against Apple’s App Store practices, including the 30% commission and limitations on communication with users.
  • The commission previously expressed concerns about “anti-steering obligations” that prevented developers from directing users to alternative payment options.
  • Apple has made some concessions, allowing developers to advertise alternative payment methods outside the app and link to their websites in specific cases. However, these changes have faced criticism for being insufficient.

This ruling marks a significant development in the ongoing battle against tech giants and their potential abuse of market dominance. It also highlights the growing scrutiny and regulations around app store practices and their impact on fair competition and consumer choice.

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