According to the initial findings of a European Union investigation, the Apple Music application violates the rules of fair competition and therefore harms consumers. This follows a complaint filed by rival Spotify denouncing the rules imposed by the apple on the App Store.
It’s announced, the European Union is determined to mess with Apple. The EU indeed suspects the Apple brand of engaging in anti-competitive practices on the App Store. More specifically, it is the Apple Music service that is targeted here, while the competitor Spotify is certainly relishing this small victory.
Margrethe Vestager, the now famous European Commissioner for Digital Society at the European Commission, has indeed split a tweet to announce the news. According to the initial conclusions of the survey carried out by its teams, “ Apple is in breach of European competition law ».
Our preliminary conclusion: @Apple is in breach of EU competition law. @AppleMusic compete with other music streaming services. But @Apple charges high commission fees on rivals in the App store & forbids them to inform of alternative subscription options. Consumers losing out.
– Margrethe Vestager (@vestager) April 30, 2021
On the App Store, “consumers are the losers”
« Apple Music competes with other music streaming services. But Apple charges rivals high commissions on the App Store and prohibits them from informing about alternative subscription options. Consumers are losers ».
As a reminder, this preliminary European Union investigation into Apple was initiated after Spotify filed a complaint against the Cupertino company for anti-competitive practices in 2019. No sanction has yet been pronounced, the EU needing to conduct further investigations to confirm its initial conclusions.
If convicted, Apple could be punished with a fine of up to 10% of global turnover, a trifle of around $ 27 billion. However, it should be noted that EU financial sanctions rarely reach this maximum penalty.
Spotify’s criticism of Apple Music
In its complaint, Spotify explained that Apple took a 30% commission even on premium subscriptions on the iOS application. The officials of the Swedish firm then estimated that this forced them to artificially inflate their prices and therefore, to be more expensive than Apple Music on iPhone.
In addition, Spotify denounced the obligation for the vast majority of applications on the App Store to offer their paid offers via the App Store only. Contrary to what is done on the Google Play Store, an iOS app cannot indeed lead users to the website to take out a subscription and therefore escape the 30% commission.
Finally, to support his claims, the boss of Spotify recalled that services that did not compete with Apple, such as Uber or Deliveroo, had the right to circumvent this rule and avoid the apple commission. As a competitor of Apple Music, Spotify claimed this same right.
Apple is criticized from all sides
In the meantime, Apple has had a turbulent 2020. Developer Epic Games has launched a legal war against the apple to undermine its economic model based on the famous 30% commission. The famous game Fortnite was thus banned from the App Store after offering an alternative payment method not authorized by Apple.
In this regard, Epic Games, Spotify and other malcontents have outright formed an alliance against Apple. Since then, the Cupertino company has reduced its commission levied on the App Store from small developers, but this is probably not enough to calm the ardor of its detractors.
Finally, even more recently, it is even Apple’s AirTags that have been singled out for unfair competition. In short, the apple brand has its work cut out for itself to defend itself against all these attacks and the few arguments made so far are rather bad.