EU accuses Apple of antitrust breach after Spotify complaint



Kelvin Chan | AP News

LONDON (AP) — European Union regulators accused Apple on Friday of violating the bloc’s antitrust laws, alleging the iPhone maker distorts competition for music streaming by imposing unfair rules for rival services in its App Store.

The EU’s executive Commission said it objected to Apple’s rules for music streaming services that compete with its Apple Music service, saying they end up costing consumers more and limiting their choices.

The charges underscore the long-running feud over app payments between Apple and popular music streaming service Spotify, which filed a complaint that sparked the investigation – one of four the company is facing from the EU. Regulators in Brussels are also investigating other big U.S. tech companies like Amazon and Google, amid a growing global movement to rein in their power.

The EU’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, outlined two main concerns. One centers on Apple’s practice of forcing app developers selling digital content to use its in-house payment system, which charges a 30% commission on all subscriptions.

The other concern is that Apple prevents app makers from telling users about cheaper ways to pay for subscriptions that don’t involve going through an app.

Apple rejected the charges, saying it was proud of its role in helping Spotify grow into a music streaming giant. The company also pointed out Spotify doesn’t pay Apple a commission for 99% of its paid subscribers.

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