Apple Music: the giant risks a fine of 36 billion euros for abuse of a dominant position
The European Commission has just confirmed the continuation of its investigation into abuse of dominant position targeting Apple in the online music market. Nevertheless, Brussels has decided to focus its investigations on the restrictions imposed by Apple on the developers of music streaming applications. The apple brand is taking a big risk in this case.
It all goes back to 2019. At that time, Spotify decided to file a complaint against Apple with the European Commission. The music streaming giant accused the apple brand of anti-competitive practices aimed at benefiting its Apple Music service to the detriment of competing apps, Spotify in the lead.
Spotify also pointed to the famous Apple tax, this obligation imposed by the company to use its payment system and which allows it to collect commissions of up to 30% on each transaction.
In April 2021, the European Commission also sided with Spotify in the conclusions of its preliminary investigation. According to Brussels, Apple has indeed favored Apple Music.
Also to read : App Store – Spotify refuses to pay 30% commission to Apple, like Netflix
The European Commission is still investigating Apple
However, the European Commission has just announced something new concerning this burning issue. In effect, the institution has decided to reduce the scope of its investigation against Apple for abuse of a dominant position. If it drops the charges against the American giant concerning the “Apple tax”, its investigations now focus on restrictions imposed by Apple on developers of competing streaming apps.
Indeed, Brussels considers thatApple prevents them from promoting better subscription offers and available outside the App Store to iPhone and iPad users. Unsurprisingly, this announcement made Spotify happy, which said via its lawyer Eve Konstan: “The European Commission has sent a clear message that Apple’s anti-competitive behavior and unfair practices have harmed consumers and disadvantaged developers for far too long.
She continues: “We urge the Commission to take a swift decision in this case in order to protect consumers and restore fair competition on the iOS platform.” If Apple’s guilt is confirmed by Brussels at the end of the investigation, the apple brand is at great risk: a fine of up to 10% of its annual turnover, i.e. nearly 36 billion euros.
Source: Le Figaro