Apple faces €500 million fine over EU music probe

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Apple could be subject to a €500 million ($538 million) fine from the European Commission, with it expected The regulator will bring charges after an investigation into its treatment of Apple Music competitors.

The European Commission is investigating whether Apple violated antitrust laws following a complaint from Spotify in 2019, which led to the opening of an investigation in 2020. Almost four years later, the European Commission is allegedly preparing to hand down punishment.

The Commission is expected to announce a fine against Apple in early March, according to five people familiar with the investigation. The Financial Times reports. The fine, expected to be around 500 million euros, is expected to be accompanied by a ruling that Apple violated EU laws with its anti-steering rules in the App Store.

As part of the ruling and fine, Apple also faces an injunction to stop music streaming services from telling customers they can get a better deal elsewhere than the App Store and in-app purchase system. The EU will obviously call them “unfair trading terms”.

The report's wording appears to indicate that the ban will be limited to streaming services only, with Apple potentially still being able to apply it to other types of apps.

The timing of the ruling coincides with Apple's efforts to comply with the EU's Digital Markets Act, which allows third-party app store downloads and other rule changes affecting only EU citizens, including allowing alternative payment services. used. Longtime rival Epic Games is already planning to take advantage of these changes and return Fortnite to the App Store in EU member states.

In the United States, rules against steering are changing following a legal battle between Epic and Apple, but with significant restrictions that make it difficult for developers to actually use it.

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