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Apple gets $2 billion fine after Spotify complaint

Apple gets $2 billion fine after Spotify complaint Photo: Apple gets $2 billion fine after Spotify complaint (Getty Images)

The EU has imposed a $2 billion fine on Apple for violating competition laws, following a complaint from the streaming service Spotify, reports CNN.

The EU announced that the fine would be the first-ever antitrust penalty against Apple for failing to prevent rival music streaming services such as Spotify from telling iPhone users that they could find cheaper ways to subscribe outside of Apple's app store.

EU competition and digital affairs chief Margrethe Vestager said Apple had abused its dominant position as a distributor of music streaming apps.

She added that European consumers did not have a free choice about where, how, and at what prices to buy music streaming subscriptions.

"This is illegal and has affected millions of European consumers," says Vestager.

Apple responded

Apple answered that the European Commission's decision was made despite failing to find any credible evidence of harm to consumers and ignoring the realities of a thriving, competitive, and fast-growing market.

The company said in a statement that app developers compete on an equal footing in Apple's app store.

Spotify filed a complaint against Apple

The European Commission launched a formal antitrust investigation into Apple in 2020 after Spotify filed a complaint against Apple last year, accusing it of unfair behavior by its competitors.

It alleges that Apple required the Swedish music streamer and other content providers to pay a 30% commission on purchases made through Apple's in-app payment system, while its own Apple Music service did not have to pay a commission. Spotify also said Apple has banned it from sharing subscription information with customers using iPhones.

According to Spotify, Apple is one of the biggest smartphone sellers and its smartphone operating system is the only way to offer their app to everyone with an iPhone.

Apple will change some rules

In January, Apple announced changes to the treatment of apps in the EU, including plans to allow the use of third-party app stores on the iPhone and iPad for the first time in the company's history, as well as a significant reduction in app store fees.

The changes were unveiled ahead of EU rules coming into effect this month under the Digital Markets Act. It is a comprehensive set of competition rules for large technology companies.

News about social networks in the EU

In September, TikTok was fined 345 million euros for violating privacy laws regarding the processing of children's data in the European Union.

The new law on digital services (Digital Service Act) has come into force in the European Union, aiming to combat misinformation and illegal content on the internet.