EU fines Apple 1.8 billion euros for “abuse of dominant position”

The European Commission on Monday imposed a fine on Apple of 1.84 billion euros for non-compliance with EU competition rules in the online music market, an unprecedented sanction against which the American giant decided to appeal.

Spotify, a very popular music streaming platform (streaming), had appealed to Brussels against the practices of the Californian giant, deemed to be contrary to European rules of “fair competition” and which, according to him, do not make it possible to “guarantee freedom of choice for consumers and a fair environment for developers”.

At the end of a formal investigation opened in June 2020, the European executive ruled in favor of the applicant.

“For a decade, Apple abused its dominant position in the market for the distribution of music listening applications by streaming » via its AppStore application store, explained Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

The Apple group has thus put in place restrictions to prevent application developers from promoting to users on iPhone and iPad “alternative and cheaper services available outside the Apple ecosystem”, which offers its own service streaming service, Apple Music, she added.

“This is illegal: under EU antitrust rules, we have today fined Apple more than 1.8 billion euros,” she said.

The group must also put an end to the practices identified and refrain from adopting equivalent measures in the future.

This is the first time that the EU has sanctioned Apple for breaching competition rules.

This amount is considered “proportionate to the global revenues” of the Cupertino (California) group and “necessary to be dissuasive,” the European executive said in a press release.

“Such a fixed fine was necessary because a significant part of the damage is non-monetary and cannot be properly taken into account based on revenue […] And the fine must be sufficient to deter Apple from repeating this or a similar infringement,” insists the Commission.

The objective is also to “deter other companies of similar size and with similar resources from committing the same offense”.

Apple immediately announced that it would appeal the fine imposed.

The group deplored a sanction “taken despite the Commission’s inability to discover the slightest credible evidence of harm caused to consumers”. The fine “ignores the realities of a thriving, competitive and rapidly growing market”, reacted the American giant.

Apple, for its part, accuses Spotify of seeking to benefit “without paying” from the advantages of the App Store and its “tools and technologies” which “have contributed to making” the Swedish platform “one of the most recognizable brands in the world”. world “.

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source site-42