What you need to know
- Apple is being investigated by the European Commission.
- That's over anticompetitive behavior within its App Store.
- Spotify has welcomed the move.
Spotify has welcomed the announcement that Apple is under investigation by the European Commission over anti-competitive practices in its App Store.
Yesterday, the European Commission issued two joint statements announcing formal investigations into Apple Pay and the App Store. Regarding the App Store specifically, it said:
The European Commission has opened formal antitrust investigations to assess whether Apple's rules for app developers on the distribution of apps via the App Store violate EU competition rules. The investigations concern in particular the mandatory use of Apple's own proprietary in-app purchase system and restrictions on the ability of developers to inform iPhone and iPad users of alternative cheaper purchasing possibilities outside of apps.
Following the announcement, Spotify said it welcomed the move. Spotify has been one of the main outcriers against Apple's App Store practices. Namely, Apple taking a 30% cut of Spotify subscriptions sold through the App Store, despite the fact Apple operates a direct competitor platform, Apple Music. On its website dedicated to leveling the playing field, 'Time to Play Fair', Spotify said:
Today is a good day for consumers, Spotify, and other app developers across Europe and around the world. Apple's anticompetitive behavior has intentionally disadvantaged competitors and deprived consumers of meaningful choices for far too long. We welcome the European Commission's decision to formally investigate Apple and hope they'll act with urgency to ensure fair competition on the iOS platform for all participants in the digital economy.
The European Commission is investigating the mandatory use of Apple's own in-app-purchase system, its 30% rate of commission, and restrictions placed on developers to inform users about alternative purchasing possibilities. The commission says its "in-depth investigations" will be carried out as a matter of priority, but that the opening of a formal investigation does not prejudge its outcome.
Apple blasted the move stating saying it was "disappointing the European Commission is advancing baseless complaints from a handful of companies who simply want a free ride, and don't want to play by the same rules as everyone else. We don't think that's right — we want to maintain a level playing field where anyone with determination and a great idea can succeed."