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Why is Apple threatened with a heavy fine in Europe ?

The European Commission opened its investigation following a complaint filed by Spotify. © Lemon squeezer

500 million euros is the amount of the fine that Apple could pay, following a decision by the European Commission, according to an article in the Financial Times. According to the newspaper, Brussels is preparing to conclude a procedure launched following a complaint filed by Spotify in 2019 against the conditions of the App Store. In summary, the European streaming service accused Apple of using App Store rules to favor Apple Music, and of limiting Spotify's ability to communicate with its customers who use an iPhone or iPad.

The European Commission would agree with Spotify and sanction Apple with a heavy fine. The decision could be announced in March. “While Apple allows users to use music subscriptions purchased elsewhere, its rules prevent developers from informing users of these purchasing possibilities, which are generally less expensive”, indicated, on a preliminary basis, the European Commission in April 2021.

But as usual, while waiting for an official announcement, caution is always required.

The Apple ecosystem has already changed

In any case, it should be noted that between 2019 and 2024, big changes have already been announced by Apple. For example, since the second half of 2021, developers have been able to communicate with their users, for example via email, to inform them about the possibility of paying cheaper subscriptions by not using in-app payments Store (but by paying the subscription on the web, for example). In 2020, the firm also announced a reduction in the App Store commission (from 30% to 15%) for small developers who earn less than $1 million per year.

Otherwise, it should also be remembered that to conform iOS to the Digital Markets Act, which applies in the EU in March, Apple has relaxed the rules imposed on developers. They will have the possibility of distributing their applications to competitors of the App Store (even if the financial conditions are very questionable). Apple is also opening the iPhone's NFC module, for mobile payments, to Apple Pay competitors. And browsers will no longer be required to use Apple's WebKit technology on iPhone.

  • Following a complaint filed by Spotify against Apple in 2019, the European Commission opened an investigation
  • The Commission could announce the conclusions of this investigation in March, and fine Apple 500 million euros, according to the Financial Times
  • Spotify, which is a competitor of Apple Music, pointed out the 30% commission charged by the App Store as well as the restrictions that Apple imposed on communication between Spotify and its customers using an iPhone
  • Since then, many changes have been made to the App Store and developers already have the possibility to inform their users about cheaper subscriptions outside of the Apple ecosystem

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116