Spotify applauds $2 billion EU fine, says Apple has muzzled music streaming services

Apple was today fined €1.8 billion ($1.95 billion) for anti-competitive behavior against rival streaming music services in the European Union, and following the ruling, Spotify… He praised the European Commission For her decision.

For context, the European Commission's investigation into Apple's practices was triggered by a 2019 complaint from Spotify over its App Store policies. Spotify has long objected to Apple's 30 percent fee, complaining that it is unfair compared to Apple Music.

In a blog post, Spotify said the European Commission had sent a clear message that “Apple’s behavior that limits communications with consumers is unlawful.”

Apple's rules have prevented Spotify and other music streaming services from engaging with our users directly in our app about various benefits – depriving us of the ability to communicate with them about how to upgrade and price subscriptions, promotions, discounts, or many other perks. Of course, Apple Music, a competitor to these apps, is not prohibited from the same behavior. By demanding that Apple stop its illegal behavior in the EU, the European Commission is putting consumers first. It's a basic concept of free markets — customers should know what options are available to them, and customers, not Apple, should decide what they buy, where, when, and how.

It is worth noting that the scope of the investigation in Europe has changed several times. While Spotify has complained about Apple's ‌App Store‌ fees and requirements to use in-app purchases, the European Commission has been unable to target Apple with these measures. Instead, the investigation ended in connection with Apple's anti-targeting rules, the rule that prevents Spotify from informing customers of lower prices on the web through the Spotify app.

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The European Commission has decided that Apple's restrictions preventing developers from letting iOS users know about alternative and cheaper music subscription services available outside the app are “unlawful under EU antitrust rules.” The European Commission claims that Apple made customers “pay significantly higher prices for music streaming subscriptions.”

Spotify also says in its blog post that Apple has “routinely defied laws and court decisions in other markets,” and that it awaits next steps that will “clearly and conclusively address Apple’s longstanding unfair practices.” Spotify claims it plans to keep up the pressure against Apple until it can secure a “truly fair digital marketplace everywhere.”

Apple was ordered to “remove the anti-routing provisions” and to refrain from repeating the violation or adopting similar practices in the future. Apple plans to appeal the decision and has claimed that the European Commission's view is misguided and has been strongly influenced by Spotify's complaints.

Spotify will soon be able to release an app outside of the ‌App Store‌ with support for alternative app markets coming to the EU in iOS 17.4, but the music streaming company has complained that Apple's plans don't comply with the DMA and that the changes coming to Europe are a “complete and total farce.”

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