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Apple Challenges €1.84 Billion EU Fine Over App Store Restrictions

 |  May 22, 2024

Apple has filed a challenge at Europe’s second-highest court against a €1.84 billion ($2 billion) fine imposed by EU antitrust regulators. The penalty, handed down in March, accused the tech giant of impeding Spotify and other streaming rivals through restrictive practices on its App Store, according to a court filing.

The fine, issued by the European Commission, marked Apple’s first penalty for violating EU antitrust rules and ranked as the third-largest ever imposed for anti-competitive behavior. The Commission cited Apple for “abusing its dominant position in the market for the distribution of music streaming apps to iPhone and iPad users” via its App Store.

Related: Apple Fights €1.8 Billion EU Fine Over Music Streaming Competition

Central to the case were Apple’s ‘anti-steering’ rules, which prohibited Spotify and other competitors from directing iOS users to subscribe to their services outside Apple’s in-app purchase system.

Apple had announced its intention to appeal the decision immediately after the fine was issued. The company criticized the ruling, stating it was made “despite the Commission’s failure to uncover any credible evidence of consumer harm” — a defense that is expected to be a cornerstone of its legal strategy.

The appeal process is expected to be lengthy. A decision from the Luxembourg-based General Court, Europe’s second-highest tribunal, could take several years. Moreover, an appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union, the highest court in the EU, could extend the litigation even further, potentially by several more years.

Source: Reuters