*** ----> Apple hit with 1.8 billion-euro fine for music streaming restrictions | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Apple hit with 1.8 billion-euro fine for music streaming restrictions

AFP | Brussels, Belgium                                       

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

The EU yesterday hit Apple with a 1.8 billion-euro-fine ($1.9 billion ) f o r violating the bloc’s laws by preventing music streaming services from informing users about subscription options outside of its App Store.

The iPhone maker immediately vowed to appeal the first ever antitrust fine slapped on Apple by Brussels, the culmination of a case triggered by a complaint by Swedish music streaming giant Spotify.

The European Commission said it “found that Apple applied restrictions on app developers preventing them from informing iOS users about alternative and cheaper music subscription services available outside of the app”.

“This is illegal under EU antitrust rules,” the EU’s powerful antitrust regulator said.

“Apple’s conduct, which lasted for almost ten years, may have led many iOS users to pay significantly higher prices for music streaming subscriptions because of the high commission fee imposed by Apple on developers and passed on to consumers,” it added.

Spotify’s complaint in 2019 triggered a broad commission investigation into the iPhone maker in 2021, but Brussels narrowed its probe last year to focus on Apple ’sactions to prevent apps from giving users information about rival music subscription options.

“For a decade, Apple abused its dominant position in the market for the distribution of music streaming apps through the App Store,” commission vice president Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

“We have ordered Apple to remove the necessary provisions and to refrain from similar practices in the future,” Vestager told reporters.

Apple slammed the commission’s decision and said it would appeal.

“The decision was reached despite the Commission’s failure to uncover any credible evidence of consumer harm, and ignores the realities of a market that is thriving, competitive, and growing fast,” Apple said in a statement.

“While we respect the European Commission, the facts simply don’t support this decision.

And as a result, Apple will appeal,” the company added.

Google owner Alphabet, Amazon, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, Meta and Microsoft must also comply