Apple vs Spotify: Apple fights back on huge $2 billion EU antitrust fine

Apple fights back on huge $2 billion antitrust fine by the EU following a Spotify complaint
Back in March, Apple said it was going to appeal a massive $2 billion antitrust fine imposed by the EU following a complaint from Spotify. Now, it’s reported that Apple has officially filed its lawsuit.

Spotify’s complaint against Apple dates back to 2019. The music streaming service claimed that App Store rules gave Apple Music an unfair advantage. While you can subscribe to Apple Music directly from the app without Apple having to pay a 30% commission, Spotify would have to pay that fee in the first year, and 15% every year after if they offered the same in-app subscription option.

This, Spotify argued, created an uneven playing field between the two services.

To make matters worse, Apple’s rules also restricted Spotify from linking to its website.

The EU took its time (as usual, these big lawsuits take time), but in the end, chose to side with Spotify. Therefore, Apple was given a €1.8 billion (around $2 billion) fine for anti-competitive practices.

Apple was definitely not happy with this. The Cupertino company immediately rejected the ruling and decided to fight it in court. According to Bloomberg, the tech giant has now taken the case to the EU’s General Court in Luxembourg, aiming to overturn the March decision.

These antitrust cases are often tricky to choose a side. I find it easy to understand why Apple would promote its own service over competitors (after all, it's Apple's iPhone that the user is using to stream music).

But I also get Spotify's position of finding it unfair - after all, the majority of people in the US use iPhones, and iPhones are popular around the world as well (so somewhat being a 'monopoly' of sorts). We'll see how this lawsuit will turn out, but for sure, we're in for a big wait before we get to have a final decision, as such cases are notoriously slow to progress.

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