EU slaps €1.8 billion fine on Apple for music streaming monopoly

European Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager addresses the media on Apple Music streaming services at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Monday, March 4, 2024. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

The European Commission on Monday fined U.S. tech giant Apple €1.8 billion for “unfair practices.”

The decision comes after an investigation launched following a complaint by Spotify that Apple had engaged in unfair practices in the music streaming services sector, holding back its competitors.

“Apple device users in the EU were not free to choose where, how and at what price to buy a music streaming subscription,” said EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on Monday.

The EU commission found that Apple restricted app developers from informing iOS users about cheaper music streaming subscription services available outside the Apple App Store.

Apple must now allow music streaming developers to communicate freely with their users, said Vestager.

Apple has announced that it will appeal the decision, saying that Spotify is reaping large benefits from being on the App Store:

“Today, Spotify has a 56 percent share of Europe’s music streaming market — more than double their closest competitor’s — and pays Apple nothing for the services that have helped make them one of the most recognizable brands in the world. A large part of their success is due to the App Store, along with all the tools and technology that Spotify uses to build, update, and share their app with Apple users around the world,” Apple announced in a statement.

Apple shares were down 2.7 percent at around 5.30 p.m. on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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