EU Fines Apple For Favoring Its Own Music Streaming Service

In a landmark decision, the European Union (EU) has imposed a hefty fine of nearly $2 billion on tech giant Apple for unfairly favoring its own music streaming service over competitors like Spotify. The fine, issued by the European Commission, marks the EU’s first antitrust penalty against Apple and underscores the bloc’s commitment to fostering fair competition in the digital market.


The EU’s investigation was triggered by a complaint from Spotify, alleging that Apple’s restrictive practices hindered competition in the music streaming industry.

The Commission found evidence that Apple had been stifling rivals by preventing them from informing users about cheaper subscription options available outside of iPhone apps. This tactic effectively forced consumers to use Apple’s payment system, which charges a 30% commission on all subscriptions.

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Illegal Practices

EU Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager condemned Apple’s actions as illegal and detrimental to European consumers. By muzzling streaming services from disclosing alternative payment options, Apple deprived users of the freedom to choose where, how, and at what price to purchase music streaming subscriptions.

A Twitter post is trending related to this case-

The Commission’s investigation revealed that millions of European consumers were affected, paying higher prices than necessary for their streaming services.

Spotify’s Role

EU fines Apple for favoring its own music streaming service
EU fines Apple for favoring its own music streaming service

The fine comes after years of contention between Apple and Spotify over dominance in the music streaming market. Spotify, which holds a significant share of Europe’s music streaming market, welcomed the EU’s decision, emphasizing the importance of preventing abusive power dynamics that could harm consumers and stifle competition.

Legal Ramifications

The EU’s decision carries significant financial consequences for Apple, including an additional lump sum intended to deter future anticompetitive behavior. Moreover, the ruling coincides with the implementation of new EU rules aimed at preventing tech giants from monopolizing digital markets. The Digital Markets Act, set to take effect imminently, imposes strict regulations on “gatekeeper” companies like Apple, under threat of substantial fines.

Apple’s Response

Apple has vowed to appeal the EU’s decision, disputing the Commission’s findings and asserting that the market is competitive and thriving. The tech giant also accused Spotify of benefiting from the EU’s move, highlighting the complexities of the ongoing dispute between the two companies.


The EU’s unprecedented fine against Apple sends a clear message that anti-competitive practices will not be tolerated in the digital market. As tech companies face increasing scrutiny from regulatory bodies worldwide, the outcome of this case will have far-reaching implications for the industry.

Moving forward, Apple must adhere to EU regulations and ensure fair competition, as the Commission closely monitors its compliance with the Digital Markets Act.

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