EU antitrust fine could cost Apple 10% of its global revenue – reports

EU regulators will reportedly charge Apple with anticompetitive behavior as soon as this week. The first EU antitrust case against the US tech firm comes two years after a complaint by music streaming service Spotify.

The violation may incur a fine of as much as 10% of Apple’s global revenue, as well as forcing the tech giant to take a new look at its lucrative business model.

In 2019, Swedish audio streaming and media services provider Spotify filed a complaint to the European Commission, alleging that the iPhone maker unfairly restricts rivals to Apple Music, its music steaming service. The Stockholm-based company also said that Apple forces app developers to pay a 30% fee to use its in-app purchase system (IAP), making it difficult for Apple Music rivals to market themselves.

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Shortly after the accusations, Apple issued a response to Spotify’s complaint, saying that the App Store had facilitated hundreds of millions of downloads of the Spotify app.

“Spotify wraps its financial motivations in misleading rhetoric about who we are,” the Cupertino-based corporation said back then.

In June 2020, the EU competition enforcer launched antitrust probes into Apple, investigating the App Store and Apple Pay.

The EU’s chief for competition and digital policy, Margrethe Vestager, is expected to issue the charges publicly later this week, according to multiple media reports, including those by Reuters, FT, and Bloomberg.

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The case against Apple comes amid rising competition concerns across the world, marking large scale regulatory crackdowns against the power of Big Tech.

Earlier this week, the German Advertising Federation filed an antitrust complaint over iPhone’s latest privacy settings, alleging that Apple abuses its dominant market position and violates antitrust regulations via the new iOS update.

Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet’s Google, and others among American Big Tech are expected to fall under the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act, introduced by the European Commission in late 2020, which is currently waiting for approval by the European Parliament and Council of Ministers. The regulation aims to introduce rules across Europe that tech companies must abide by. It aims to make the online market space safer and create a level playing field for companies within it.

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