A PYMNTS Company

Apple To Face EU Antitrust Charges Over Spotify Complaint This Week

 |  April 27, 2021

The European Commission will issue antitrust charges against Apple over concerns about the company’s App Store practices, according to a report from the Financial Times. The Commission has been investigating whether Apple has broken EU competition rules with its App Store policies, following an initial complaint from Spotify back in 2019 over Apple’s 30% cut on subscriptions.

The European Commission opened up two antitrust investigations into Apple’s App Store and Apple Pay practices last year, and the Financial Times only mentions upcoming charges on the App Store case. It’s not clear yet what action will be taken. 

Spotify has previously claimed Apple uses its App Store to stifle innovation and limit consumer choice in favor of its own Apple Music service. Rakuten filed a similar complaint to the EU last year, alleging that it’s anti-competitive for Apple to take a 30% commission on ebooks sold through the App Store while promoting its own Apple Books service.

Known as the “Apple tax,” this 30% cut has long been targeted by companies like Netflix and Spotify. Apple has defended its policies, arguing that the revenue it earns contributes toward the costs of maintaining the App Store and enforcing its content, privacy, and security guidelines.

Epic Games also filed an antitrust complaint with the EU earlier this year, as part of its ongoing dispute with Apple. The Fortnite developer has publicly criticized Apple’s App Store policies around distribution and payments, resulting in Epic attempting to circumventApple’s 30% cut on in-app purchases in Fortnite. Apple quickly removed the game from its App Store, and a legal battle is now in progress.