The Globally Blog


EU fine on Apple Following Spotify Complaint: A Deeper Dive

EU Fine on Apple
EU Fine on Apple

The Complaint: Spotify vs. Apple’s App Store Practices

EU Fine on Apple: Imagine you’re an avid music fan, flicking through thousands of playlists on your mobile device. Suddenly, news breaks: To put it bluntly, Apple is once again the big tech in distress.But why? Let’s rewind a bit.

In the lead-up to the EU fine on Apple, Spotify, the dominant music streaming platform, filed a 2020 complaint with the European Commission. (This emphasizes the role of Spotify’s complaint in leading to the fine.) The accusation? Antitrust violations. Actually, Spotify just said that Apple’s app store policies were the main enemy of fair competition.

Credit: European Commission

The Antitrust Issue: What Did Apple Do Wrong?

The heart of the case was found in the 30% markup that was applied to all in-app purchases, including subscriptions inside apps such as Spotify. Nevertheless, Spotify also argued that Apple blocked them from sending the users other alternative payment methods outside the App Store, thus the subscription price of the consumers may be inflated.

Going ahead in March 2024 the verdict has arrived. The European Commission took up the side of Spotify and subsequently imposed a heavy fine worth about 1.8 billion euros ($1.95 billion) on Apple. This judgment is a major setback for Apple’s App Store supremacy and might accompany severe consequences for the whole tech sector.

The Fallout: What Does This Mean for Consumers and Developers?

For the initial users, the impact may be very little. Yet, this choice can make room for a more free App Store. Developers may be given space to innovate with other payment modes which may lead to affordable subscriptions.

The Road Ahead: Will This Change Apple’s App Store Policies?

Apple will appeal the verdict as stated. It will take at least this long for the court to decide. But one thing is clear: this decision of the EU has indeed opened the discussion about free competition in the modern digital era on a global scale. Will the decision lead Apple to adjust its AppStore policies? Only time will tell.

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