Apple may be facing charges laid out by the European Commission later this week. The EU is reportedly on the cusp of issuing antitrust charges against the iPhone marker over its App Store policies, stemming from a complaint initiated by Spotify two years ago.
This news comes by way of the Financial Times, who reports that the EU had opened two antitrust investigations into Apple’s App Store practises in 2020. The report states that the ruling will come “late this week”. Though, the Financial Times has not stated what particular action will be taken by the EU.
The discussion regarding Apple’s App Store practises surrounding the company’s mandatory 30 percent cut on subscriptions. Many app developers have been vocal in their stance against the practice. Spotify issued a formal complaint against Apple, stating that the company uses its market dominance to “deliberately disadvantage” competitors. Other companies such as Tile and Match have also voiced their concerns over the App Store policies.
However, the conversation boiled over when Epic Games, the developer of popular Fortnite, got involved. An ongoing dispute between Epic Games and Apple has been building as the studio implemented a workaround to Apple’s 30 percent cut into subscription into Fortnite. Apple then retaliated by pulling Fortnite from the App Store. The issue quickly escalated into a formal legal battle. In February, Epic Games filed an antitrust complaint of its own to the EU. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeny has said, “Consumers have the right to install apps from sources of their choosing and developers have the right to compete in a fair marketplace.”
Apple has made changes to its App Store policies in recent months. The company has lowered the threshold of its payout to developers and publishers who earn less than $1 million in annual revenue.
The level of severity in which Apple will be charged is still unclear. Additionally, there’s no telling whether the EU may demand the company to make changes to its policies in order to retain a more balanced marketplace for consumers.