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Apple Fined $2 Billion by EU After Spotify Complaint


EU has imposed a $2 billion fine on Apple for unfairly favouring its own music streaming service over competition.

The EU said Apple did not fully inform their device users that there were other and cheaper subscription services outside the Apple Store.

As a consequence, iPhone and iPad users paid “significantly higher prices for music streaming subscriptions.”

The fine followed a complaint by streaming service Spotify, which then launched a complaint accusing Apple of preventing app developers from telling users of cheaper ways to pay for subscriptions.

Investigation found the tech giant guilty of preventing streaming services such as Spotify from allowing users to know the cost of non-Apple subscription offers.

EU’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said the tech giant banned app makers from “fully informing iOS users about alternative and cheaper music subscription services outside of the app.”

“This is illegal, and it has impacted millions of European consumers.”

Following the ruling, tech giant said it would allow iPhone users in Europe to use app stores besides its own. It also pledged that it would enable developers to offer alternative payment systems.

Apple will likely appeal the decision. The tech giant said:

“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.”

READ ALSO: Google to Pay $700M (KSh 107 Billion) to US Consumers, States in Antitrust Settlement

“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,” said the tech giant.

The amount is substantial, though it only makes up 0.5% of Apple’s global revenue. The tech giant collects a 30% fee on all sales made through the app store, which is a lucrative part of the tech giant’s business.

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