Apple plans serious EU opposition over Spotify anti-competitive claims

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Apple EU pushback report

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Photo credit: Medhat Dawoud

Apple is reportedly ready to take action against European Union antitrust authorities. Here’s the latest.

World’s most profitable company says it doesn’t need to make any more changes to the App Store. This claim follows formal accusations about how the platform deals with third-party developers, and even necessitated some changes that Apple was willing to make. Apple says The EU has falsely accused her of illegally restricting Spotify and influencing other developers to keep users away from the App Store.

Apple insists the changes it’s made since the original lawsuit was filed in 2021 are enough to “strike a fair balance between the interests of Apple and the interests of the app developers,” the report said. In February 2023, the EU narrowed its antitrust investigation, focusing on “contractual restrictions Apple has placed on app developers that prevent them from notifying iPhone and iPad users of alternative music subscription options.”

Meanwhile, Spotify argues that Apple’s rules against mentioning alternative payment methods prevent the company from informing consumers about offers or promotions. “Those rules still stand today and Apple’s alleged changes actually don’t change anything at all and are just for show,” Spotify said in a statement. “We support the European Commission and believe the indictment addresses Apple’s unfair business practices.”

Spotify has urged the EU’s antitrust authorities to probe Apple with complaints about the “Apple tax,” or the 30 percent cut Apple is making on subscription fees. Apple has lowered that cut to 15% for app developers who make $1 million or less in a fiscal year — so Spotify pays the full 30% on anything beyond the first million earned on the App Store.

European regulators are still examining whether Apple’s business practices violate antitrust laws. In this case, Apple could face penalties of up to 10% of annual sales. There is currently no indication as to when the Commission will complete its investigation.