IT|May 3, 2021

EU gives Spotify right: App Store breaks competition rules

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The European Commission opened an antitrust investigation against the App Store last year after Spotify had complained about Apple's license agreements.

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“Significant market power” “Monopoly”
Today, the EU concluded that Apple has "abused its dominant position to force mandatory use of their own store."

"Our preliminary conclusion is that Apple is exercising significant market power in the distribution of music streaming apps. In that market, Apple has a monopoly, ”said Margrethe Vestager, head of EU competition supervision.

The European Commission opened an antitrust investigation of the App Store last year after Spotify in 2019 complained about Apple's license agreements where app developers must pay a 30 percent commission on sales through the App Store.

 

Apple and gatekeeper
The fact that the app developers are also not allowed to inform about alternative ways of obtaining the same apps is another problem the commission is concerned about.

We have informed Apple that the preliminary conclusion is that Apple is abusing its dominant position for distributing streaming apps through the App Store.

In response, Apple says the EU's conclusion is the "opposite of fair competition."

Spotify er blitt verdens største abonnementstjeneste for musikk og vi er stolt av rollen vi har spilt. Nok en gang vil de ha fordelene med App Store uten å måtte betale for det.

Apple must now respond to the commission in writing or via a hearing.

The European Commission holds Apple accountable for its anti-competitive activities, ensuring consumers choice and a level playing field for app developers.

An audiobook distributor filed a similar complaint against Apple in March 2020. Epic Games, which is fighting against Apple in US law, filed an antitrust complaint against the iPhone manufacturer to the European Commission earlier this year.

 

EU v Big Tech
The EU is working to regulate the activities of the big giants in technology. They often have a supranational corporate structure that makes them difficult to regulate and tax. Upcoming legislation will most likely hit American companies the hardest.

The legislation is proposed to include the possibility of fining companies with up to ten percent of their worldwide annual turnover.

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