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EU Fines Apple 500 Million Euros Over Antitrust Crackdown

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EU Fines Apple 500 Million Euros Over Antitrust Crackdown

(CTN News) – Apple will be fined $500 million by the European Commission, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

The EU began investigating Apple’s alleged obstructive behavior toward third-party music services after Spotify reported the company to regulators in 2019.

According to Apple’s App Store rules, companies such as Spotify cannot charge users directly within the app for subscriptions, forcing them to use Apple’s App Store billing service.

After charging Apple with anti-competitive conduct in 2021, Brussels narrowed the scope of the investigation last year, abandoning a charge of forcing developers to use its in-app payment system.

According to the latest version of the investigation, Apple had restricted apps from informing users about cheaper subscription alternatives outside its native App Store.

As a result of the investigation, the Commission will accuse Apple of abusing its powerful position and prohibit its “unfair trading conditions” regarding subscription policies for its music services.

It is one of the largest fines the EU has imposed on a major technology company. There have been several large fines against Google contested in the past.

Despite Apple’s previous antitrust fines — such as the €1.1 billion fine in France, which was reduced on appeal to €372 million — this would be its first such fine from Brussels. As part of the EU crackdown, the reported fine comes ahead of the enactment of the landmark Digital Markets Act, scheduled for March. Apple, Amazon, and Google are deemed to be “gatekeepers,” so the new law targets their anti-competitive practices.

The business practices of tech giants have long been accused of unfairly limiting small companies, such as Spotify.

Third-party developers will be allowed to distribute apps outside Apple’s iOS Store, as well as bill their customers directly under the Digital Markets Act.

iOS, Safari, and the App Store have been updated to comply with EU regulations, and Apple will soon allow third-party stores to distribute apps on Apple devices.

In a separate antitrust case, the European Commission is investigating the way Apple restricts rivals’ access to Apple Pay. As a result of the case, Apple has already made concessions.

According to the Financial Times, the Commission has not yet decided when to announce the fines, but it won’t change the direction of its investigation.

In EU courts, Apple has the right to appeal the decision. In a statement, the company said it was pleased regulators narrowed the scope of the investigation, but declined to comment on the report.


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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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