The European Commission has accused the American company Apple of violating EU antitrust regulations, which threatens it with a fine of up to 10% of its annual income. This was announced in a statement by the EC, published on the organization’s website on Friday, April 30.
The European Commission believes that the payment system for music streaming in the App Store “inflates the costs of competing streaming platforms at the expense of 30% commission” that the IT company “charges competitors for streaming their content.”
“Apple restricts users’ rights by not informing them about alternative streaming options and deprives them of the opportunity to use cheaper alternative services, which undermines competition in the European Union,” the EC said.
The European Commission made this decision as part of an antitrust investigation launched in 2019 against Apple on the appeal of the Swedish streaming platform Spotify.
Over the past 10 years, the European Commission has taken several major antitrust decisions and imposed multibillion-dollar fines against leading American digital corporations, including Microsoft, Google, Amazon, for violating EU rules in the field of competition in the digital market. In November 2020, more than 150 internet companies asked the EC to tighten its grip on Google over its anti-competitive practices in the online search market.
In December, the EU introduced two bills – the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act. They spell out the responsibility of Internet platforms for violation of competition and discrimination in the network: fines of up to 10% of the company’s annual global turnover and the structural division of the business by forcing the company to sell assets, intellectual property or brands.
In 2016, the European Commission found Apple guilty of tax evasion and demanded that the company return € 13 billion of unpaid taxes in Ireland, but in 2020 the IT giant achieved the cancellation of this decision in the European Court of Justice.