Apple Is Set to Face a $539 Million Fine Over Spotify’s Antitrust Complaint

Apple is set to face a $539 million fine over Spotify’s antitrust complaint. Sources close to the matter told the Financial that the complaint by Spotify in the EU against the App Store policies of Apple will reportedly result in a 500 million euro fine.

Apple Spotify’s Antitrust Complaint

Apple Spotify’s Antitrust Complaint

According to a report from the Financial Times on Sunday morning, Apple faces a hefty fine of €500 million (equivalent to about $539 million USD) following an investigation by regulators prompted by a complaint from Spotify. The complaint alleged that Apple’s policies restrict iPhone apps from informing users about cheaper alternatives to Apple’s own music service.

At the heart of the issue is Apple’s efforts to maintain control over its App Store payment system, which effectively keeps apps and users within its ecosystem. Spotify lodged its complaint in 2019, asserting that Apple’s policies stifle competition against its own Apple Music service, leading to an EU investigation in the subsequent year. The EU focused its objections on Apple’s refusal to permit developers to direct users to their own subscription sign-ups within their apps—a policy that Apple revised in 2022 following regulatory pressure in Japan.

The EU Had Initially Considered Imposing a Much Larger Penalty on Apple

While the €500 million fine may seem substantial, the EU had initially considered imposing a much larger penalty of nearly $40 billion (equivalent to 10 percent of Apple’s annual global turnover) when it updated its objections last year. In 2020, Apple was fined over a billion dollars, but French authorities reduced the amount to approximately $366 million after the company appealed.

Apple Representative Emma Wilson Reportedly Declined To Provide a Statement

When reached for comment, Apple representative Emma Wilson declined to provide a statement, citing a reluctance to engage in speculation. Instead, she referred to previous remarks made by another Apple spokesperson, Hannah Smith, in February of the previous year. Smith had expressed hope that the Commission would cease pursuing the case, which she asserted “has no merit.” European Commission spokesperson Lea Zuber declined to offer any comment.

At the time of publication, Spotify had not responded to requests for comment.



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