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Apple Introduces Changes in App Store Policies Following EU Mandate

 |  April 7, 2024

Apple has announced significant measures aimed at easing restrictions on music streaming apps within the European Economic Area (EEA), as part of its efforts to comply with a mandate from the European Union (EU). The tech giant’s move follows a hefty fine imposed by the EU and criticism over anti-competitive practices.

The announcement, made on Friday, outlines steps to enable music streaming app developers to better inform users within the App Store about alternative methods for purchasing digital services. This initiative arrives in the wake of a recent penalty levied against Apple by the EU, amounting to a staggering 1.84 billion euros ($1.99 billion). The fine was imposed due to allegations that Apple was stifling competition from rival music streaming platforms through restrictive App Store policies.

The European Commission had previously voiced concerns, stating that Apple’s practices constituted unfair trading conditions and necessitated immediate cessation. These concerns were further fueled by a complaint filed in 2019 by Swedish streaming service Spotify. Last year, the Commission formally charged Apple with impeding Spotify and other similar companies from informing users about payment alternatives beyond the App Store.

Read more: EU Regulators Probe Deeper Into Apple Pay

According to reports from Reuters, Apple’s recent announcement signifies a shift in its approach to app store regulations. The company stated that it would now permit music-streaming app developers to invite users to provide their email addresses. This information would enable developers to send users direct links to their websites for purchasing digital music content or services. Additionally, developers can inform users about alternative purchase avenues and pricing details.

Apple emphasized that these policy changes offer “even more” flexibility to music streaming service apps, including Spotify, which currently holds a commanding 56% share of the European market. This move is expected to foster a more level playing field within the digital music industry, promoting fair competition and consumer choice.

The tech giant’s decision to amend its App Store policies reflects a broader trend of regulatory scrutiny faced by major technology companies, particularly concerning their market dominance and treatment of competitors.
Source: Reuters