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EU Scrutinizes Apple’s Compliance with Antitrust Order, Spotify Awaits Resolution

 |  April 8, 2024

EU antitrust regulators are closely examining an Apple proposal to determine if it aligns with their directive allowing Spotify and other music streaming services to inform users of alternative payment methods outside of the App Store. The European Commission announced on Monday that they are assessing Apple’s proposal following concerns about potential non-compliance.

According to Reuters, the tech giant faces the risk of antitrust charges and further fines if its proposal, revealed last Friday, fails to meet the standards set by the EU competition enforcer. The European Commission had issued an order alongside a hefty 1.84 billion euro ($2 billion) fine against Apple the previous month.

Under Apple’s proposal, Spotify, and similar services, would be permitted to include links directing users to their websites for purchasing digital content or services, bypassing Apple’s App Store ecosystem. Additionally, users could opt to provide their email addresses to receive links to the platform’s website for making purchases. However, Apple would levy a 27% fee on transactions facilitated through these links, including subsequent auto-renewing subscriptions, as reported by Reuters.

Related: EU: Commission wants to hear from Apple over Spotify complaint

“We are currently assessing whether Apple has fully complied with the decision,” stated a spokesperson for the Commission. “In general, if the Commission suspects that there is non-compliance with an adopted decision, it will send the undertaking concerned a Statement of Objections …”

Meanwhile, Spotify expressed frustration over the delay in Apple’s compliance with the EU order, which has persisted for five weeks.

The ongoing scrutiny underscores the intensifying regulatory pressure on big tech companies, particularly concerning their control over app distribution and payment systems within their ecosystems. As the investigation unfolds, the tech industry awaits the Commission’s verdict on whether Apple’s proposal satisfies the antitrust concerns raised by Spotify and other stakeholders.

Source: Reuters