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Apple Hit With $1.95B EU Fine In Spotify Antitrust Case

Published 04/03/2024, 13:32
Updated 04/03/2024, 14:40
© Reuters.  Apple Hit With $1.95B EU Fine In Spotify Antitrust Case

Benzinga - by Rounak Jain, Benzinga Staff Writer.

In a landmark ruling, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been slapped with an unprecedented EU antitrust fine of 1.8 billion euros ($1.95 billion) for its restrictive practices against Spotify Technology SA (NYSE:SPOT) and other music streaming services.

What Happened: The European Commission has imposed a hefty fine on Apple for preventing Spotify and other music streaming services from informing users about payment options outside its App Store, reported Reuters.

The decision stems from a 2019 complaint by Spotify concerning Apple’s 30% App Store fees and associated restrictions.

The EU competition watchdog deemed Apple’s restrictions as unfair trading conditions, a relatively new argument in an antitrust case.

The watchdog also added an additional 1.8 billion euros to the basic fine amount as a deterrent to Apple, citing a significant part of the harm caused by Apple’s conduct was non-monetary.

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager stated, “For a decade, Apple abused its dominant position in the market for the distribution of music streaming apps through the App Store.” Apple plans to challenge the decision in court.

This fine is also significantly higher than the 500 million euros that was earlier expected.

The iPhone maker is also seeking to settle another EU antitrust investigation by offering to open up its mobile payment systems to rivals.

Why It Matters: This ruling comes on the heels of a series of events that have put Apple’s App Store practices under scrutiny.

In February, Apple faced backlash from tech giants including Microsoft, Spotify, and Epic Games over its Alternative App Store proposal for EU users.

However, a counterfeit cryptocurrency application on Apple’s App Store managed to dupe users out of thousands of dollars, highlighting iPhone security fears.

Price Action: Apple closed at $176.73, down 1.63% on Friday, according to Benzinga Pro.

Check out more of Benzinga's Consumer Tech coverage by following this link.

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Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of Benzinga Neuro and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Photo by David Švihovec on Unsplash

© 2024 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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