EU Launches Apple Antitrust Probe

EU Launches Apple Antitrust Probe
An investigation will decide whether Apple is preventing rivals from competing fairly with Apple Music.

(CCM) — The European Union is about to launch an antitrust investigation into Apple's App Store practices, following a complaint from music streaming company Spotify. The investigation will start in the next few weeks, looking into claims by Spotify of Apple "tilting the playing field to disadvantage competitors," according to a Financial Times report.

Spotify is unhappy because it and other music streaming services have to pay Apple 30 percent of any subscriptions they sell on the App Store, ostensibly for the use of Apple's payment system. But apps such as Uber do not have to pay this 30 percent fee.

The EU could require Apple to change this business practice if it deems that it prevents fair competition between Apple Music and other streaming services, and it can also impose a fine of up to 10 percent of Apple's global turnover.

Spotify told the Financial Times that it would have to raise its prices if Apple continued to charge the 30 percent fee, but Apple responded by accusing Spotify of using "misleading rhetoric," the report said.

Rival streaming company Deezer has echoed Spotify's concerns, and other groups are also worried about Apple's behaviour but are too afraid to take on Apple, according to the report.

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