EU narrows antitrust concerns over music streaming on Apple App Store


Feb. 28 (UPI) — The European Commission on Tuesday narrowed its complaints about antitrust violations regarding music streaming services on Apple’s App Store.

The commission said that Apple violated antitrust laws by restricting rival music companies like Spotify from advertising how users could subscribe to their apps, which prevented users from finding alternative streaming services, forcing them to pay more.


“The commission is concerned that the anti-steering obligations imposed by Apple on music streaming app developers prevent those developers from informing consumers about where and how to subscribe to streaming services at lower prices,” it said in a statement.

The commission opened an investigation into Apple’s conduct in 2020, after Spotify first made a complaint in 2019. Initially, they were also focused on Apple’s policy that forced to developers to use its own in-app payment, or IAP, systems.

In Tuesday’s announcement, the Commission said that they were dropping the first charge, focusing just on the ways Apple prevented developers from advertising alternative ways to subscribe to their apps.

It said the so-called anti-steering policies are not necessary or appropriate for the App Store, are detrimental to users who may end up paying higher prices and negatively affect music streaming app developers by “limiting effective consumer choice.


The statement by the agency does not constitute a final decision, and Apple will now have a chance to make a defense.

Spotify said in a statement Tuesday that the European Commission’s statement “made it abundantly clear that consumers are the ultimate victims of Apple’s abusive and anticompetitive behavior — and putting a stop to it is a top priority.”

“With each passing day, Apple continues to choke competition and smother innovation,” Spotify said. “The European Commission today is sending a clear message that Apple must play fair and let competition work. Momentum is on the side of consumers but they deserve final resolution — and soon.”