After a 2019 complaint by Spotify (see “Spotify Asks the European Commission to Make Apple Play Fair,” 13 March 2019), The Verge is reporting that the European Commission has slapped Apple with antitrust charges related to how it operates the App Store in relation to music streaming. The EU has singled out two practices:
- The 30% commission Apple takes from App Store sales
- App Store rules preventing developers from even mentioning non-Apple payment options
If convicted, Apple could face a fine as high as $27 billion or be forced to make fundamental changes to the App Store.
This may just be the beginning of Apple’s antitrust battles in the EU. Last year, Rakuten’s Kobo subsidiary also complained to the European Commission about Apple charging 30% on ebooks sold in the App Store while simultaneously promoting its own Apple Books service. Plus, the EU hinted that more charges could be related to Apple’s role in the gaming market.