European Union to Fine Apple $539 Million US, Says Report

The European Union is set to slap a historic fine against Apple, marking the company’s first such penalty for antitrust infractions within the EU, according to The Financial Times.

The fine, expected to be around €500 million ($539 million USD), stems from a European Commission investigation into Apple’s music streaming service practices. According to sources familiar with the matter, the fine will be announced early next month, citing the company’s alleged preference for its services on its platform over competitors’.

The investigation, initiated after Spotify lodged a formal complaint in 2019, focuses on whether Apple stopped apps from directing iPhone users to more affordable music subscription options outside of the App Store.

The Commission is set to declare Apple’s actions as illegal, contravening EU competition rules aimed at sustaining a single market’s competitive environment. Furthermore, Apple will be accused of abusing its dominant market position by imposing anti-competitive trading conditions on its rivals.

This fine is set to be one of the biggest imposed by the EU on a big tech company, following a series of fines against Google totalling approximately €8 billion ($8.6 million USD), which are currently under legal challenge.

Despite Apple’s recent efforts to align its practices with EU regulations by announcing changes to iOS, App Store, and Safari, criticisms persist. Spotify has dismissed Apple’s compliance efforts as not good enough. In response, Apple has said that the adjustments provide developers with more options for app distribution and payment processing within the EU.

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