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Apple Music Gets fined $538 million by EU

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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The EU is suing Apple Music, a huge streaming company, for violating the law. Apple Music will be paying the European Union an astounding $538 million. Apple’s policy of hindering streaming music apps from alerting Apple gadgets’ users within the app that lower subscription fees are available when signing up outside of the App Store has been the focus of the European Commission’s investigation.

 EU fines Apple music
Picture Source: Apple

EU Fines Apple Music Based On Spotify Antitrust Complaint

After Spotify filed an antitrust complaint against Apple in 2019, the investigation got underway. In 2021, EU regulators formally filed charges against Apple in the anti-competitive probe. However, the commission dropped the charge of pressuring developers to use its in-app payment system last year and reduced the investigation’s purview.

The Paywalled FT report claims that the Commission will declare Apple’s actions unlawful and in violation of the bloc’s regulations enforcing competition in the single market. It will also outlaw Apple’s practice of preventing customers from using its App Store to switch to less expensive music services, which has unfairly benefited Apple Music in the past.

Apple App Store Policy Affects Music Streaming Industry

The main area of interest for the EU in this case is how Apple’s App Store policy has affected the music streaming industry, particularly because of the severe limitations placed on other options.

The primary concern is that music streaming services claim Apple has prevented them from providing third-party payment methods outside of the App Store to preserve Apple’s thirty percent commission.

The impending dangers to Apple’s business, especially the App Store, were visible as the European Union contemplated the creation of the Digital Markets Act (DMA), also known as the DMA.

What was once just a proposal has now become law, which presents a significant obstacle to Apple’s business endeavors in the area.

Apple To Comply With DMA Regulations

To minimize any operational disruptions, the company must now ensure that its wide range of products and services comply with the DMA’s provisions. This requires it to navigate the complex world of regulatory compliance.

The investigation’s outcome will essentially validate the preliminary assessment of the Commission, which claims that Apple’s regulations violate EU antitrust law because they amount to “anti-steering” and “unfair trading conditions.” The Commission has previously stated that because users of Apple’s mobile devices may have to pay more, the rules are “detrimental to users of music streaming services” and “negatively affect the interests of music streaming app developers by limiting effective consumer choice.”

It is important to note that Apple has never before faced penalties from the EU for violating antitrust laws; however, in 2020, the company was hit with a €1.1 billion ($1.19 billion) fine in France due to accusations of anti-competitive behavior. Apple appealed, and the fine was reduced to €372 million.


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Abdullahi Kafayat
Abdullahi Kafayat

Abdullahi Kafayat is an enthusiastic writer interested in the tech world. She's a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University and has a BSc in Chemistry. You can reach her at Kafayatabdullahi17@gmail.com.

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