EU to Impose €500 Million Fine on Apple Over Alleged Antitrust Violations

EU to Impose €500 Million Fine on Apple Over Alleged Antitrust Violations

Key Points:

  • The EU reportedly imposed a €500 million fine on Apple for alleged antitrust violations related to music streaming services.
  • The fine follows a European Commission probe initiated in response to a 2019 complaint by Spotify.
  • The investigation focuses on whether Apple used its platform to favor its services over competitors and breached EU rules on competition.
  • Apple faces heightened scrutiny and must comply with stringent regulations by early March.

Brussels is set to impose a historic fine of around €500 million on tech giant Apple for allegedly violating EU law regarding access to its music streaming services. The fine, expected to be announced in early March, is the outcome of a European Commission antitrust probe into whether Apple used its platform to favor its services over competitors.

The investigation focuses on whether Apple blocked apps from informing iPhone users about cheaper alternatives to access music subscriptions outside the App Store. After a formal complaint by music-streaming app Spotify in 2019, the probe aims to determine if Apple’s actions breach EU rules enforcing competition in the single market.

According to sources familiar with the case, the Commission will declare Apple’s actions illegal, accusing the company of anti-competitive practices and imposing unfair trading conditions. The fine represents one of the most substantial financial penalties imposed by the EU on a big tech company. Google has faced fines totaling about €8 billion, contested in court over several years.

While Apple has not been fined for antitrust infringements by Brussels before, the company received a €1.1 billion fine in France in 2020, which was later reduced to €372 million after an appeal. The EU’s move against Apple rekindles the conflict between Brussels and Big Tech, aligning with new rules under the Digital Markets Act.

The Act demands full compliance by early March and aims to open competition and foster opportunities for smaller tech rivals. Brussels had formally charged Apple in 2021, narrowing the scope of the investigation last year and dropping a charge related to pushing developers to use its in-app payment system.

In response to the impending fine, Apple announced changes to its iOS mobile software, App Store, and Safari browser last month. However, Spotify criticized Apple’s compliance efforts as a “complete and total farce.” Apple, which can appeal to EU courts, declined to comment on the forthcoming ruling but emphasized its commitment to addressing concerns while promoting competition.

TechGolly editorial team led by Al Mahmud Al Mamun. He worked as an Editor-in-Chief at a world-leading professional research Magazine. Rasel Hossain and Enamul Kabir are supporting as Managing Editor. Our team is intercorporate with technologists, researchers, and technology writers. We have substantial knowledge and background in Information Technology (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Embedded Technology.

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