EU imposes USD1.9B fine on Apple for market dominance abuse in music streaming


(MENAFN) On Monday, European Union regulators delivered a significant blow to tech behemoth Apple, imposing a substantial €1.8 billion (USD1.9 billion) penalty on the company for "abusing its dominant position on the market for the distribution of music streaming apps."

The fine represents the inaugural occasion where the European Commission has penalized Apple and stands as the third-largest antitrust fine ever recorded, trailing only behind substantial penalties levied against Google for its shopping search and Android cellphone software.

The commission stated on Monday that Apple limited “app developers' ability to inform users of Apple devices about alternative, cheaper options to purchase music available on the internet outside of the Apple ecosystem,"

"This is illegal. And it has impacted millions of European consumers, who were not able to make a free choice as to where, how, and at what price to buy music streaming subscriptions," it pointed out.

The commission, referring to them as "anti-steering provisions," considers these conditions unfair in trade, breaching antitrust regulations as they prioritize Apple's commercial interests over promoting a fair marketplace.

The commission has instructed Apple to eliminate clauses that prohibit developers from informing users about alternative subscription methods.

"From now on, Apple will have to allow music streaming developers to communicate freely with their own users, be it within the app, or by email, or any other way of communicating," it declared.

"Now, it is of fundamental importance to hold companies like Apple accountable for their violations of EU law. If Apple abuses its dominant position, we will detect such illegal behaviour, we will bring it to an end and we will punish Apple for it," it further mentioned.

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