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Apple Faces 500 Million Euro Fine from EU in Music Streaming Antitrust Case

 |  February 27, 2024

Apple Inc. is bracing for a significant blow from the European Union (EU) as it prepares to receive an antitrust fine of approximately 500 million euros ($543 million) next week. Sources familiar with the matter revealed that the fine stems from a music streaming case instigated by a complaint from Spotify.

The European Commission had leveled charges against the tech giant last year, accusing it of impeding Spotify and other music streaming competitors from informing users about alternative options outside of Apple’s App Store. This practice, termed “anti-steering obligations,” was deemed by the EU competition watchdog as creating unfair trading conditions, reported Yahoo News.

While Apple chose not to comment on the matter when approached on Tuesday, sources indicated that the company is poised to receive the hefty fine on March 5th, pending final approval from EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager. Alongside the fine, the EU is expected to mandate Apple to cease such practices, aligning with forthcoming regulations outlined in the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which six major tech companies, including Apple, must adhere to starting March 7th.

Related: Apple Must Change Its EU Charging Ports By 2024

Although the impending fine is intended to serve as a deterrent, it falls short in comparison to the billion-euro fines previously imposed on Google in various EU antitrust cases over the past decade.

In addition to the music streaming case, the European Commission is also scrutinizing Apple’s decision to remove home screen web apps for users within the EU. Apple asserted that this action is in compliance with the DMA.

A spokesperson for the Commission confirmed, “We’re in particular looking into the issue of Progressive Web Apps, and can confirm sending the requests for information to Apple and to app developers, who can provide useful information for our assessment.”

Source: Finance Yahoo