Apple is facing a £427million EU anti-trust fine for blocking iPhone apps from telling users about cheaper music services after Spotify lashed out at the tech giant’s software changes.

The fine, which is expected to be announced next month according to sources close to the investigation, is the result of a year-long probe by the European Commission initiated after Spotify raised a complaint back in 2019, the Financial Times reports.

Spotify claimed that it had to raise its subscription prices from £9.99 to £12.99 per month due to Apple’s billing rules – while Apple launched its own music streaming service for £9.99 per month.

Companies like Spotify are prohibited in most regions from billing customers for subscriptions within their apps on Apple devices. Instead, iPhone users have to use the Apple App Store billing service, which takes a cut of up to 30 per cent.

But in 2021, the EU charged Apple with anti-competitive behaviour over the company’s ‘anti-steering’ requirements, which prevent developers from informing users of cheaper alternatives to pay and therefore reportedly breach the EU’s abuse of dominance rules.

To appease the commission, Apple announced changes to its software last month that would ‘give developers choice’ to advertise cheaper subscriptions elsewhere, but companies would still have to pay Apple a commission to do so.

Spotify was not pleased with these changes and called them a ‘complete and total farce’ and said the changes were ‘just for show’.

Apple is facing a £427million EU anti-trust fine for blocking iPhone apps from telling users about cheaper music services as Spotify lashes out at the tech giant’s software changes (file image)

Spotify claimed that it had to raise its subscription prices from £9.99 to £12.99 per month due to Apple’s billing rules – while Apple launched its own music streaming service for £9.99 per month (file image)

The commission is expected to rule that Apple’s actions are going against the EU’s competition rules and ban the company from preventing music services like Spotify from advertising cheaper alternatives outside the App Store, according to the FT.

Apple was previously engaged in a legal battle in the US with Fortnite developer Epic Games over the same practice of not letting developers advertise cheaper ways to pay while charging a commission for these services company’s can’t avoid. 

The expected ruling would be the first time Apple is fined for anti-trust infringements, but the company previously having to pay a £317million fine in France for bokep indo alleged anti-competitive behaviour.

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