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Apple Fined $2 Billion Over Spotify Dispute

Apple has been fined $2 billion over a complaint by Spotify regarding the company’s advertising restrictions on iOS. Spotify filed a complaint with the European Union over five years ago where the company claimed that Apple restricted other music streaming apps from advertising on iOS and informing users about alternate and chapter music subscriptions.

The European Union found that Apple indeed restricted other music streaming apps on iOS in order to position itself as the only service on the platform. Spotify claimed the developers were not able to share information with users on how to upgrade their packages, the prices of Spotify subscriptions and the benefits. The company claimed Apple controlled these messages and made it impossible to grow subscribers on iOS.

Apple says that the European Union has issued a fine without any credible evidence to back up the claims made by Spotify. As a result, it has appealed the fine and will fight back until Spotify and the Commission can produce evidence.

At the moment, Spotify’s complaint is from over five years ago so it will be difficult for the company to gather this information. Of course, it also means the investigation will kick off to eventually prove whether or not Apple has conducted any anti-competitive behaviour.

The EU has been investigating Apple since 2020 after multiple complaints were filed against the company by various app developers. They all claim Apple controls various factors of iOS which makes it difficult to do business which directly conflicts with the iPhone maker. This term has been called “Apple Tax”.

The Commission has pushed Apple into opening up iOS in a few ways. For example, developers can now link out to other payment methods in iOS. This was a result of the large-scale Epic Games Vs. Apple case brought on by Fortnite V-Bucks.

However, Apple still has various hurdles in front of the company going forward. The Commission has been looking at different ways the company controls its profits including the limited App Store sales and even locking payment methods to only Apple Pay via NFC.

In regards to this Spotify fine, Apple truly believes that Spotify has been able to thrive without the alleged restrictions on iOS. The company released a statement claiming that 56% of the European market uses Spotify. The success is due to the App Store and Apple providing the technology for Spotify to share their app with users all over the world.

Today, Spotify has a 56 percent share of Europe’s music streaming market — more than double their closest competitor’s — and pays Apple nothing for the services that have helped make them one of the most recognizable brands in the world. A large part of their success is due to the App Store, along with all the tools and technology that Spotify uses to build, update, and share their app with Apple users around the world. We’re proud to play a key role supporting Spotify’s success — as we have for developers of all sizes, from the App Store’s earliest days.

Source: Apple News Room

Marco is the owner and founder of GLITCHED. South Africa’s largest gaming and pop culture website. GLITCHED quickly established itself with tech and gaming enthusiasts with on-point opinions, quick coverage of breaking events and unbiased reviews across its website, social platforms, and YouTube channel.

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