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Apple Faces $2 Billion EU Fine After Spotify Complaint

Apple faces $2 Billion EU fine from the European Commission following an investigation into its App Store policies. The fine comes in response to a complaint filed by music streaming service Spotify.

Author:Rhyley Carney
Reviewer:Paula M. Graham
Mar 06, 20249.6K Shares130.6K Views
Apple faces $2 Billion EU fine from the European Commission following an investigation into its App Store policies. The fine comes in response to a complaint filed by music streaming service Spotify, highlighting Apple's restrictive policies on directing users to external subscription options, circumventing in-app purchase fees.

Apple Fires Back Accusing Spotify Has "Some Monopolization-Related Problems Of Its Own"

Apple responded with a detailed statement, allocating a substantial portion to address Spotify's role in the proceedings.
Apple acknowledged the fine but made it clear that it intends to appeal the European Commission's decision. The company's statement was anything but conciliatory, as it went into a direct confrontation with Spotify.
Apple emphasized that Spotify "pays nothing" for the vast usage of its app on Apple devices, highlighting its staggering 119 billion downloads, redownloads, or updates. Despite this apparent generosity, Apple highlighted its collaborative efforts with Spotify, ensuring compatibility with various Apple features such as Siri, CarPlay, Apple Watch, AirPlay, Widgets, and more.
The statement continued with a not-so-subtle dig at Spotify's market dominance, revealing that the music streaming service has "some monopolization-related problems of its own" commanding a substantial 56% share of Europe's music streaming market. Apple contended that, despite its pivotal role in Spotify's success, the streaming giant contributes nothing in return.
"But free isn’t enough for Spotify," Apple declared. The tech giant accused Spotify of seeking to rewrite App Store rules in a way that would favor its interests even more. Apple alleged that Spotify aims to accept payments directly within the iOS app, leveraging Apple's tools without participating in the standard revenue-sharing program.
"In short, Spotify wants more," Apple concluded, making it clear that it views Spotify's demands as excessive and detrimental to the established App Store ecosystem.

Spotify's Rejoinder: Celebrating The Decision, Pointing To An Open Internet

In response to Apple's statement and the EU ruling, Spotify issued a counterstatement, celebrating the European Commission's decision as a pivotal moment in advocating for a more open internet. Spotify's statement highlighted the EC's conclusion that Apple's behavior restricting communications to consumers is unlawful.
The streaming service accused Apple's rules of silencing Spotify and other music streaming services from directly communicating with users about various benefits, including upgrades, subscription prices, promotions, and discounts. Notably, Spotify emphasized that Apple Music, its direct competitor, faces no such restrictions.
Spotify viewed the EC's decision as sending a powerful message that "no company, not even a monopoly like Apple, can wield power abusively to control how other companies interact with their customers."
"While we appreciate the EC addressing this important case, we also know that the details matter. Apple has routinely defied laws and court decisions in other markets. So we’re looking forward to the next steps that will hopefully clearly and conclusively address Apple’s long-standing unfair practices," the statement read.
The streaming service acknowledged the importance of the case but stressed that the details matter, expressing concern about Apple's history of defying laws and court decisions in other markets.
"While we are pleased that this case delivers some justice, it does not solve Apple’s bad behaviour towards developers beyond music streaming in other markets around the world. Our work will not be done until we succeed in securing a truly fair digital marketplace everywhere and our commitment to helping to make this a reality remains unwavering."
The streaming giant's commitment to securing a fair digital marketplace globally remains unwavering, reflecting its dedication to fostering a genuinely open ecosystem for all.
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Rhyley Carney

Rhyley Carney

Paula M. Graham

Paula M. Graham

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