Spotify Complaint Triggers Further EU Antitrust Charges Against Apple

Citing people familiar with the matter, a report by Reuters is claiming that Apple is facing an additional EU antitrust charge in the coming weeks in an investigation triggered by a complaint from music streaming giant Spotify.

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Last year, the EU accused Apple of distorting competition in the music streaming market via restrictive rules for its App Store that force developers to use its in-app payment system. Now, the EU competition enforcer has reportedly gathered new evidence and has modified some elements to boost its case against the iPhone maker.

Apple forcing developers to use its own payment system is illegal under new EU tech rules called the Digital Markets Act (DMA) presented last month.

“The DMA is still two years away. The rules will probably apply to Apple at the beginning of 2024. This is why antitrust cases remain important,” said lawyer Damien Geradin at Geradin Partners, who is advising several app developers in other cases against Apple. 

Companies found breaching EU antitrust rules face fines of as much as 10% of their global turnover and orders to ditch anti-competitive practices.

In addition to music streaming, Apple’s practices in e-books and its Apple Pay are also being investigated by the EU.