European regulators are set to whack Apple Music with an additional anti-trust charge following Spotify’s complaints about the tech giant distorting competition in the market.
Last year, European Commission accused the Apple of distorting competition for streaming platforms via restrictive rules for its App Store, forcing developers to use its own in-app payment system and preventing them from informing users of other purchasing options.
Sources told Reuters that the iPhone maker that the additional charge will come within weeks and these new charges are usually brought when a competition enforcer has gathered new evidence.
The debate around music streaming has been an ongoing one.
In October 2021, the UK regulator announced its intention to launch a market study into music streaming, which are aimed at identifying and, if appropriate, consider how best to tackle competition and consumer issues.
Organisations like The Independent Music Companies Association (IMPALA) have continually pushed the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to widen its investigation into the likes of Spotify and Apple Music, suggesting that the “real price of music” has fallen for creatives, whilst platforms continue to reap the financial benefits.
Spotify has also been making a slow but steady reputation recovery following this year’s Joe Rogan anti-vax content row, which saw music legends Neil Young and Joni Mitchell pull their music from the platform.
Spotify’s chief content officer Dawn Ostroff called the backlash a “real learning experience” for the company.
“We do feel that we have a responsibility to support creator expression, but also balance that creator expression with safety for our users and for our advertisers,” said Ostroff, who has been the figurehead of the podcast push for the streaming service.