EU fines Apple €1.8bn for violating Competition Laws in Music Streaming Industry

The European Commission has fined Apple €1.8bn (£1.5bn) for breaching competition laws in the music streaming sector.

The European Union has fined Apple €1.8bn (£1.5bn) for violating competition laws in the music streaming industry. The European Commission found that Apple had prevented streaming services from informing users about alternative payment options outside of the Apple app store, thereby abusing its dominant position in the market.

Competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager stated that Apple’s actions restricted developers from informing consumers about cheaper music services available outside of the Apple ecosystem, which is illegal under EU antitrust rules. The decision follows a complaint by Swedish music streaming service Spotify, which was dissatisfied with the restrictions and Apple’s 30% fee.


Apple has announced its intention to appeal the decision, arguing that there is no evidence consumers have been harmed. The company emphasized the thriving and competitive nature of the market and criticized the Commission for failing to uncover credible evidence of consumer harm.

Spotify hailed the fine as an important moment, stating that it sends a powerful message that no company, not even a monopoly like Apple, can abuse its power to control how other companies interact with their customers. Spotify also highlighted that it pays no commission to Apple as it sells subscriptions on its website rather than through the app store.

The EU’s decision comes as part of a broader effort to promote competition in the technology sector. Apple’s move to allow EU customers to download apps outside of its app store is seen as a response to the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which aims to break down the dominance of tech giants like Apple and Google in the market.

Tech companies have until later this week to comply with the DMA’s requirements or face fines of up to 10% of their annual turnover. Spotify and other companies have criticized Apple for its “lack of compliance” with the DMA, calling its new terms a mockery of the legislation and the EU’s efforts to make digital markets competitive.