Apple reportedly faces $539 million antitrust fine

  • Following an antitrust probe by the European Commission, Apple could be handed a fine of up to $539 million.
  • The probe relates to a complaint against Apple by Spotify in 2019.
  • The music streaming platform alleged that Apple implemented anti-competitive App Store practices at the time.

In a couple of weeks Apple could receive a fine of up to $539 million in the European Union over antitrust behaviour.

This according to the Financial Times (paywall), which cites several unnamed sources close to the matter that a ruling will be handed down by the European Commission against Apple in the early part of March.

This all stems from a complaint laid against Apple by Spotify in 2019 over alleged anti-competitive practices within its App Store environment at the time.

In particular, Spotify noted that the App Store implanted “anti-steering” measures, which restricted the ability of applications to direct users to alternative methods of payment on the App Store.

As Engadget points out, while Spotify was the main complainant here, any decision taken by the European Commission would also impact Apple’s dealing with any application or developer that makes use of a subscription-based planned for their app or service.

Should the aforementioned ruling indeed be handed down early next month, it would have an significant impact on Apple’s ability to generate revenue, given that apps and developers could steer users towards other payment options and ultimately avoid the 30 percent fee that they have to pay the Cupertino-based company.

According to the Financial Times, the European Commission will categorise Apple’s behaviour as creating “unfair trading conditions” when the antitrust fine comes to fruition.

With Apple having acquiesced to other regulators in recent years, it will be interesting to see how or indeed if its App Store practices will be refined on the back of a sizeable EU antitrust fine.

[Image – Photo by ASE on Unsplash]


About Author


Related News