The European Commission will again load the boat with charges against Apple in the context of a complaint filed by Spotify in March 2019. The latter is still under investigation for possible acts of unfair competition. According to Reuters, Brussels has found material to formulate additional grievances which will be notified to Apple in the coming weeks. The details of these charges are not known.
Three years ago, Spotify had attacked Apple for certain rules in force on the App Store. Among them, the 30% commission to be paid to Apple after each subscription (then 15% the second year). Spotify argued that to remain competitive on the App Store against Apple Music, it had to match Apple’s price (€9.99) and pay the 30%. This had forced him to inflate the price of his subscription via the App Store (€12.99) and to transfer this additional cost to the customer.
Spotify sues Apple in Brussels for unfair competition
Spotify had then removed this possibility of subscription from the app, urging users to come and create their account and choose their formula directly on its site. But he also couldn’t include a link to the site within the app, again due to App Store rules.
In April 2021, Brussels warned Apple that its preliminary investigation revealed a possible abuse of a dominant position. Recently, Apple has been forced to put water in its wine and publishers like Deezer, Spotify or Netflix will soon have more latitude to send users of their apps to their websites in order to buy content or service.
Future European legislation on digital markets also covers these issues but will not be implemented until at least next year and, until then, the complaints already in progress continue to be dealt with.
Spotify and Deezer want tougher European rules for Apple