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EU to charge Apple with anti-competitive behavior



In June 2020, the EU antitrust agency opened four cases against Apple, one of which was linked to the claims of Spotify.

Apple store - Pexels Zhang Kaiyv

 The European Commission launched an investigation to determine whether Apple is violating the rules established in the European Union for application developers.

Margrethe Vestager, the European competition commissioner, intends to charge Apple this week with anti-competitive behavior publicly, the Financial Times wrote, citing several sources.

The case against Apple began two years ago after Spotify filed a complaint with the European Commission in 2019. At the time, Spotify claimed that Apple was unfairly limiting competitors to its music service, Apple Music.

The company also protested the 30 percent fee charged to app developers using Apple's in-app purchase system.

The regulator has begun examining App Store rules for all competing apps, including e-books and audiobooks, as well as the terms and conditions of the Apple Pay mobile payment service.

"Apple seems to have taken on the role of 'gatekeeper' when it comes to distributing apps and content to users of popular Apple devices. We need to make sure that Apple's rules don't distort competition in markets where Apple competes with other app developers through its own Apple Music or Apple Books services," Margret Vestager said at the time.

According to the publication's sources, the timing of the announcement of the charges remains unclear. The case against Apple is among the most high-profile antitrust investigations in Europe against American technology companies.

Apple has consistently denied any allegations of anti-competitive behavior. When the complaint was filed, the company said Spotify was using "its financial motives in rhetoric that was misleading."

Earlier this year, it was also revealed that computer game developer Epic Games had filed an antitrust complaint against Apple in Europe. The move exacerbates the long-running conflict between the companies and moves it into a historically more taxing jurisdiction on U.S. tech companies.

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