Apple seeks to Fend off EU Antitrust Charge Triggered by Spotify at Hearing

Ten News Network

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New Delhi, 30th June 2023: Apple will seek to defend itself against a new EU antitrust complaint and potential large penalties related to claims that it hinders music streaming companies such as Spotify from providing consumers of other purchasing options outside its App Store on Friday.

In a confidential session in Brussels, Apple will present its case to senior European Commission officials and their counterparts from national competition agencies.

Earlier this year, EU’s antitrust authorities strengthened their case against Apple’s so-called anti-steering obligations, but dropped an earlier allegation against Apple’s requirement that developers utilise its in-app payment mechanism.

The Commission claimed that the anti-steering responsibilities violate EU anti-unfair trading conditions regulations, a highly innovative legal position in an antitrust proceeding.

Apple has stated that the action launched by a Spotify complaint in 2019 has no merit, citing Spotify’s strong market dominance in Europe, where Apple Music trails in third or fourth place in most EU nations.

Its other point is that it has changed its regulations to allow reader apps like Spotify and Netflix to incorporate links to their website for sign-ups and user payments, helping app developers to avoid the App Store’s contentious 30% fee.

Spotify, which will also be present at the court, has rejected Apple’s revised anti-steering guidelines, claiming that nothing has changed. It has requested the Commission to make a decision as soon as possible.

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