The EU Antitrust announces a record fine to Apple of 1.8 billion

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The EU Antitrust announces a record fine to Apple of 1.8 billion

BRUSSELS, 04 MAR – The EU Antitrust has decided a record fine of 1.8 billion euros on Apple for violations of competition rules with music streaming services. The executive reports this in a note speaking of “unfair commercial conditions” practiced by the group.

According to what emerged in the investigation, he explains, Apple blocks developers of music streaming apps from being able to inform users with iPhone and iPad about alternative and cheaper music streaming services . The investigation began following a complaint from Spotify . The amount is significantly higher than the press rumors which spoke of a fine of 500 million.

“For a decade, Apple has abused its dominant position in the music streaming market through the App Store,” said European Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager during a press briefing. “It did this by preventing developers from informing consumers about alternative, cheaper music services available outside the Apple ecosystem. This is illegal under EU Antitrust rules.” The EU also ordered Apple to remove what prevents Spotify and music streaming services from showing users other payment options outside the App Store.

Vestager then underlined that Brussels is still considering whether the company complies with the new law on the digital market , the Digital Market Act (DMA), which will be fully applied from March 7 . The amount of the fine, Vestager explained, is “a flat rate amount equal to 0.5% of Apple's global revenues ” determined as “deterrence” for the group. The exact fine announced is 1.84 billion , of which 1.8 billion is for deterrent purposes and 40 million directly linked to the disputed violations . The amount of 1.8 billion, from what filters, in addition to deterrence, was also determined based on the severity of the findings, the group's revenues and its financial strength.

The Antitrust decision “was made despite the Commission's failure to uncover credible evidence of consumer harm and ignores the reality of a thriving, competitive and rapidly growing market.” Apple states this in a note. ” The main supporter of this decision, and the biggest beneficiary, is Spotify , a company based in Stockholm, Sweden. Spotify has the largest music streaming app in the world and has met with the European Commission more than 65 times during this investigation”.

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