European Commission Strengthening Case against Apple in Spotify-Led Antitrust Case

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 11 Apr 2022

Spotify Unsplash

In the ongoing investigation of a complaint filed by Spotify with the European Commission, Reuters reports that Apple will face more antitrust charges for “deliberately” disadvantaging other app developers using its App Store policies.

To get you up to speed, the Commission accused Apple of skewing competition in the music streaming industry in its favor after it received Spotify’s complaint in 2019. The complaint alleged that the Cupertino-based firm uses restrictive App Store rules and its 30 percent commission on in-app purchases (IAPs) to “limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience.”

Spotify said it is forced to charge customers $12.99 per month for its Premium plan on the App Store to offset the Apple tax and earn the $9.99 it usually does. Additionally, the streaming giant said Apple was also locking Spotify and similar services out of its ecosystem. Hence, Apple Music is the only music streaming service that works with HomePod, Apple Watch, and Siri, unfairly making it a more attractive option.

In April last year, the European Commission said Apple had breached the EU competition law. The company subsequently refuted the allegations of anti-competitive behavior.

Citing information obtained from an unnamed individual familiar with the matter, the latest report says enforcement authorities in the EU are strengthening their case against the iPhone maker. The authority is reportedly preparing a “supplementary statement of objection” containing extra charges based on newfound evidence in the case. The additional charges will be used in the coming weeks.

This isn’t the first time Apple has found itself in regulators’ crosshairs. Its App Store policies attracted a lawsuit from Fortnite developer Epic Games and a separate fine of $5.5 million in the dating app dispute in the Netherlands.

[Via Reuters]