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Apple broke competition law, EU says after Spotify complaint

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Apple broke competition law, EU says after Spotify complaint

Apple is in breach of EU competition law, the European Commission has said.

The company’s promotion of Apple Music ahead of rivals such as Spotify is unfair, commissioner Margrethe Vestager announced in a tweet.

The decision comes amid mounting concern over whether Apple is abusing its power over its platform to favour its own services.

The latest decision comes after a Spotify complaint, filed in 2019, that alleged that it was being unfairly held back by Apple. It argued that Apple should not be able to force Spotify and other subscription-based companies a 30 per cent cut for transactions in the App Store – while keeping all of those profits for itself, when it came to its own services.

Ms Vestager also pointed to the fact that other apps are explicitly forbidden from encouraging customers to buy their subscriptions through other processes that would not charge the same cut.

“Our preliminary conclusion: Apple is in breach of EU competition law,” she tweeted.

“Apple Music compete[s] with other music streaming services. But @Apple charges high commission fees on rivals in the App store & forbids them to inform of alternative subscription options.

“Consumers losing out.”

In a statement published last year, when the investigation was announced, Ms Vestager noted that Apple is both the the “gatekeeper” that decides how apps are distributed, and also competes with other developers in that market.

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