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EU Imposes Record 500 Million Euro Fine on Apple: A Landmark Ruling Against App Store Anti-Competitive Practices

The European Commission is preparing a fine of 500 million euros to Apple for anti-competitive practices in the music streaming market through the App Store. This historic decision, the European Union’s first fine against the company, is the culmination of an investigation launched in 2019 following a complaint from Spotify.

The investigation focused on the App Store’s “anti-hijacking provisions”, which prevent music streaming services such as Spotify from informing users about subscription alternatives outside the platform. The Commission argues that these measures favor the Apple Music service to the detriment of competition, creating an unequal market environment.

Although the company is not required to allow alternative payments within the app, the EU decision requires that music streaming platforms can provide free links to their websites, where prices can be lower, and free of Apple’s fees.

The investigation also considered the impact of Apple’s practices before the rule changes. Under the Digital Market Law, Apple will allow alternative payment methods in the European Union, but will charge Spotify a 17% fee if it remains on the App Store, in addition to a 50 cent fee.
Apple should be fined 500 million euros

The European Union’s fine is a milestone in the long dispute between Apple and European authorities over competition, privacy and taxation issues. The decision sets a precedent that could weaken the App Store’s dominance as the sole gateway for iOS users, allowing more freedom for music streaming services and, potentially, other platforms in the future.

The European Commission’s final decision on the case is expected to be announced in the coming weeks, with details on the specific measures to be taken by the company. The repercussions of this decision could be far-reaching, impacting the music streaming market and Apple’s position in the digital landscape.

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