The European Union fines Apple 1.8 billion euros for abusing its dominant position in the online music market

This amount is considered “proportionate to the global revenues” of the American giant and “necessary to be a deterrent”, the European executive explained in a press release on Monday.


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The logos of the European Union and Apple, April 3, 2024. (FRANCOIS WALSCHAERTS, JOEL SAGET / AFP)

An unprecedented sanction. On Monday March 4, the European Commission imposed a fine of 1.84 billion euros on Apple for non-compliance with EU competition rules on the online music market. The American giant immediately announced its appeal in a press release, deploring a sanction “taken despite the Commission’s inability to uncover any credible evidence of harm to consumers”.

“For a decade, Apple abused its dominant position in the market for the distribution of music streaming applications” via its AppStore application store, explained the European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager. The Apple group has put in place restrictions to prevent application developers from promoting to users on iPhone and iPad “alternative and cheaper services available outside of the Apple ecosystem”she added.

Spotify had seized Brussels against Apple’s practices

The amount of 1.84 billion euros is judged “proportionate to global income” from the Cupertino group (California) and “necessary to be a deterrent”, said the European executive in a press release. The group must also put an end to the practices identified and refrain from adopting equivalent measures in the future.

It was Spotify, a very popular music streaming platform, which took action against Brussels against the practices of the Californian giant, judged to be contrary to European rules of “fair competition” and which do not allow “guaranteeing 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.

source site-25