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Apple Reportedly Faces $539 Million Fine Following Spotify’s Antitrust Complaint

According to a report from the Financial Times on Sunday morning, Apple is expected to be fined €500 million (equivalent to about $539 million USD) as regulators investigate a complaint filed by Spotify. The music streaming giant alleges that Apple’s policies hinder iPhone apps from informing users about cheaper alternatives to Apple’s own music service.

At the heart of the issue lies Apple’s efforts to maintain control over its App Store payment system, aiming to keep apps and users within its ecosystem. Spotify lodged its complaint in 2019, accusing Apple of stifling competition against its own Apple Music service. This led to an investigation by the European Union (EU) the following year. The EU’s objections focused on Apple’s refusal to allow developers to link out to their own subscription sign-ups within their apps, a policy that Apple eventually altered in 2022 under pressure from regulators in Japan.

While a fine of $539 million may seem substantial, the EU had initially contemplated a much larger penalty, close to $40 billion, equivalent to 10 percent of Apple’s annual global turnover, when it updated its objections last year. In 2020, Apple faced a fine of over a billion dollars, but after the company appealed, French authorities reduced it to approximately $366 million.

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