In the sights of many authorities, Apple is attacked for the first time for its policy on its App Store. According to AFP, the European Commission on Friday issued an indictment stating that Apple has “distorted competition” in the online music market, by “ abusing its dominant position To oust his rivals.
Brussels is particularly concerned about the restrictions imposed by Apple on users and application developers. The 30-15% commission is of course targeted, as the authorities are asking more and more questions about this economic model. The EU had opened an investigation following a complaint by Spotify accusing Apple of using its App Store in an unfair manner to promote its Apple Music service, while preventing it from easily recruiting new subscribers without commission.
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EU to sue Apple
This decision by the European Commission does not mean that Apple will be condemned. The firm will first have to be tried and could be forced to change policy in Europe, or pay a hefty fine.
Our preliminary conclusion: @Apple is in breach of EU competition law. @AppleMusic compete with other music streaming services. Goal @Apple charges high commission fees on rivals in the App store & forbids them to inform of alternative subscription options. Consumers losing out.
– Margrethe Vestager (@vestager) April 30, 2021Advertisement
For the Californian brand, this first decision sets a dangerous precedent that could encourage other international authorities to attack the App Store. Further information could arrive soon after a conference by Margrethe Vestager. The vice-president of the European Commission in charge of competition had already condemned Apple a few years ago.
For Apple, Spotify wants “the benefits of the App Store” without paying
Apple immediately responded with a press release sent to a few US media, including The Verge, here is a translated version:
“Spotify has grown into the world’s largest music subscription service, and we’re proud of the role we’ve played in that regard. Spotify pays no commission to Apple for over 99% of its subscribers, and only pays a 15% commission on subscribers it has acquired through the App Store. At the heart of this matter is Spotify’s demand to be able to promote alternative offers on its iOS app, a practice that no store in the world allows. Once again, Spotify wants all the benefits of the App Store but doesn’t feel like it has to pay anything for it. The Commission’s argument in favor of Spotify is the opposite of fair competition. “
Source: European Union