The European Union issued a record verdict against Apple. The giant has to pay a fine of EUR 1.8 billion!

The European Union issued a record verdict against Apple.  The giant has to pay a fine of EUR 1.8 billion!

The European Commission has imposed a huge fine on Apple for breaking EU antitrust law regarding free access to music streaming services.

We already informed in mid-February that a decision by the European Union's antitrust authorities regarding a potentially very high fine for Apple would be made in early March. The Financial Times reported on the matter at the time, claiming that the matter was practically a done deal. It turned out that the daily was right, but the fine imposed by the European Commission is almost four times higher!

EUR 1.8 billion fine for Apple

Unofficial reports reported in February by the Financial Times indicated that Apple may pay a fine of EUR 539 million in Europe. Meanwhile, the fine awarded by the European Commission on Monday amounts to as much as EUR 1.8 billion.

This huge fine is the result of a complaint filed against Apple by Spotify in 2019, accusing the company of unfair competition in terms of free access to music streaming services.

According to the European Commission, the Cupertino giant favored Apple Music in its ecosystem, i.e. Spotify's direct competition. It took steps to ensure that the most convenient way for iPhone users to pay for a Spotify subscription was through the App Store, which could set inflated subscription prices.

“For a decade, Apple has abused its dominant position in the music streaming app distribution market. The company did this through the App Store by making it more difficult for competitors to inform consumers about alternative, cheaper music services available outside its own ecosystem. Under European Union antitrust regulations, this is an illegal activity, which is why we imposed a fine on Apple of over EUR 1.8 billion. – said Marghrethe Vestager, deputy head of the European Commission, responsible for competition policy.

Apple does not agree with the verdict

Apple immediately announced that it would appeal against the European Commission's decision. The company announced in a blog post that it believed that the decision was made despite the EC's failure to discover any credible evidence to the detriment of consumers.

The fine, although gigantic and unprecedented, is only a fraction of Apple's annual turnover of 350 billion euros.

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