Spotify praises EU's $2 billion fine and says Apple has 'silenced' music streaming services

By Julie Clover

Apple was today fined €1.8 billion ($1.95 billion) for anti-competitive behavior towards rival music streaming services in the European Union, and following the decision, Spotify praised the European Commission for its decision.

For context: the European Commission's investigation into Apple's actions began due to a complaint Spotify in 2019 on the app Store Policy. Spotify has long protested Apple's 30 percent commission and complains that it is at an unfair disadvantage compared to Apple Music.

In its blog, Spotify says the European Commission has made it clear that “Apple's behavior limiting communications with consumers is illegal.”

Apple's rules prevented Spotify and other music streaming services from sharing various benefits with our users directly in our app, depriving us of the ability to communicate with them about how to upgrade, as well as subscription prices, promotions, discounts or many other benefits. Of course, Apple Music, a competitor to these apps, is not immune to the same behavior. By demanding that Apple stop its illegal behavior in the EU, the EU is putting consumers first. This is the basic concept of free markets: customers should know what their options are, and customers, not Apple, should decide what to buy, where, when and how.

This is the basic concept of free markets.

It is worth noting that the scope of the investigation in Europe has changed several times. Although Spotify complained about Apple ‌App Store‌ fees and requirements to use in-app purchases, the European Commission has failed to hold Apple accountable for these actions. Instead, the investigation ultimately focused on Apple's anti-steering rules and a rule that prevents Spotify from informing customers about lower prices online in the Spotify app.

The European Commission decided that Apple's restrictions prevent developers from informing iOS users about alternatives and cheaper music subscription services available outside of the app are “illegal under EU antitrust rules.” The European Commission alleges that Apple forced customers to “pay significantly higher prices for music streaming subscriptions.”

Spotify further said in its blog that Apple “regularly ignores laws and court decisions in other markets.” and that he is looking forward to next steps that “clearly and definitively address Apple's longstanding unfair practices.” Spotify says it plans to keep up the pressure on Apple until it can ensure a “truly fair digital marketplace everywhere.”

Apple was ordered to “remove anti-steering provisions” and not repeat violations or practices like this. practices in the future. Apple plans to appeal the decision and says the EU's view is flawed and heavily influenced by Spotify's complaints.

Spotify will soon be able to release apps outside the ‌App Store‌ with support for alternative app marketplaces coming to the EU in iOS 17.4, but the music streaming company has complained that Apple's plans don't comply with the DMA and that the changes coming to Europe are a “complete farce.”

Tags: European Commission, European Union, Spotify[ 391 comments ]

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