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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

EU to Fine Apple $539 Mln for Music Streaming Violations

Sun 18 Feb 2024 | 06:39 PM
Israa Farhan

The European Union is reportedly gearing up to slap Apple with a hefty fine amounting to 500 million euros ($539 million) for alleged breaches of EU laws concerning its music streaming services.

According to the Financial Times, this unprecedented move against the tech behemoth Apple arises from accusations of violating EU legislation on access to its music streaming services, as per insights from five individuals well-acquainted with the long-standing investigation.

Brussels is poised to issue its first-ever fine to Apple early next month, marking the culmination of the European Commission's antitrust probe into whether Apple unfairly favored its services over competitors through its platform.

The investigation scrutinizes Apple's potential restrictions on apps from informing iPhone users about cheaper alternatives for music subscription services outside the App Store.

This probe was initiated following a formal complaint by the music streaming app Spotify to regulators in 2019.

The Commission is expected to declare Apple's actions as illegal and in violation of the EU's market competition rules, according to sources familiar with the case speaking to the Financial Times.

They indicated that Brussels would accuse Apple of abusing its dominant position and imposing anti-competitive business practices on rivals, deeming the tech giant's terms as unfair commercial practices.

In a separate antitrust matter, Brussels is also consulting Apple's competitors regarding the privileges the tech giant offers to alleviate concerns that it might be blocking financial groups from using its mobile payment system, Apple Pay.

The exact timing of the Commission's announcement remains uncertain, but it is not expected to alter the course of the antitrust investigation.