April 27, 2021
EU case against Apple over Spotify 'imminent'
EU competition authorities will "imminently" file formal accusations against Apple for unfairly squeezing out music streaming rivals, two sources close to the case said Tuesday.
The charge sheet would land as Apple faces a rebellion from firms that want to break free of the global Apple app store's terms, with anti-trust agencies in the US, Britain and South Korea also taking an interest.
It also comes as Apple gears up for an epic battle with Facebook over its new policy on better protecting the personal data of iPhone users.
The Financial Times, which first reported the development, said the "statement of objections", the formal name for the procedure, could fall as early as this week.
The European Commission's case is based on a complaint brought by Sweden-based Spotify and others that accuses Apple of making unfair use of its app store to promote its own Apple Music.
Spotify filed a formal complaint in 2019 that also accused Apple of unfairly taking a 30 percent cut from businesses using its store, which Spotify says amounts to a violation of fair competition rules.
The case is one of four taken up by the European Commission against Apple last year and could force the company to change the way it does business.
Once charged, Apple would have the chance to defend its side and offer to tweak its business model to satisfy EU regulators who can also impose fines.
The European Commission declined to comment on an ongoing investigation.
Apple declined to comment, but referred to a 2019 statement that said its App Store helped Spotify become Europe's largest music streaming service.
The tech giant was previously in the EU's crosshairs four years ago when Brussels ordered the California-based giant to repay 13 billion euros ($14.7 billion at current rates) in a tax case against Ireland.
© 2021 AFP