Apple faces another EU charge over anti-competitive practices relating to Spotify

Spotify (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple looks set to face another charge over anti-competitive handling of third-party apps like Spotify.
  • Spotify complained to the EU regarding Apple's in-app purchase requirements.
  • Apps are required to use Apple's purchase system when selling subscriptions.

Apple looks set to face another EU antitrust charge relating to the way it requires music streamers like Spotify to use its App Store in-app purchase system.

A Spotify complaint had already triggered moves to begin an investigation but a new Reuters report suggests that Apple could be in for an additional charge.

Apple faces an additional EU antitrust charge in the coming weeks in an investigation triggered by a complaint from Spotify, a person familiar with the matter said, a sign that EU enforcers are strengthening their case against the U.S. company.The European Commission last year accused the iPhone maker of distorting competition in the music streaming market via restrictive rules for its App Store that force developers to use its own in-app payment system and prevent them from informing users of other purchasing options.[...]Extra charges set out in a so-called supplementary statement of objections are usually issued to companies when the EU competition enforcer has gathered new evidence or has modified some elements to boost its case.

While many would argue that Apple Music is the best iPhone music streaming service, Spotify is still its biggest competition. However, anyone wishing to start a Spotify subscription via the company's app on iPhones and iPads would be required to do so via Apple's payment systems — with Spotify paying a fee for those sales. That's something the EU and governments in various countries have already taken a hard look at — and they don't appear set to look away.

Apple is already facing massive fines relating to the Dutch App Store and dating apps. The company has been told to allow such apps to offer third-party payments but has been dragging its feet in doing so.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.