A PYMNTS Company

EU: Brussels to start formal probe on Spotify’s Apple complaint

 |  May 5, 2019

The European Union will start a formal probe of Apple Inc. in the next few weeks following Spotify’s antitrust complaint, the Financial Times reported.

The music streaming giant had complained to the EU’s antitrust agency earlier this year that Apple’s 30 percent cut of revenue was effectively a tax on competitors. The feud came as the iPhone maker moved into new business areas that compete with third-parties on its platform.

Apple has said it doesn’t charge for distributing free apps and only takes the 30 percent from paid subscriptions on its platform. It also said that rate drops to 15 percent for subscriptions of more than a year. In the case of Spotify, the Cupertino, California-based company has said that the majority of customers of the music streaming service use the free, ad-supported product, and only “a tiny fraction” of the subscriptions fall under Apple’s revenue-sharing model.

The EU has studied the complaint and surveyed customers, rivals and others in the industry, which prompted the formal investigation, the FT said, citing three people familiar with the probe it didn’t identify. The authorities haven’t set deadlines for the investigation and it could take years to reach a resolution, it said.

Full Content: Financial Times

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.