Thursday 4 March 2021 6:10 pm

EU set to charge Apple over Spotify music streaming complaint

The European Commission is said to be on the brink of filing formal antitrust charges against Apple over accusations it distorted competition in the music streaming market.

Spotify filed a complaint against Apple in 2019, accusing the tech giant of unfairly restricting rivals to its own Apple Music service and complaining about the company’s 30 per cent commission on in-app purchases.

Read more: Apple facing UK competition probe over app store dominance

The EU is now expected to publish a charge sheet in the coming weeks that could force changes to Apple’s business model, Reuters reported.

If confirmed, it will be the first time the Commission has brought formal charges against Apple. The case is one of four EU probes opened into the iPhone maker last June.

The Commission declined to comment. Apple has been contacted for comment. It has previously accused Spotify of overexaggerating the fees it pays for using the App Store.

It comes amid rising scrutiny over Apple’s dominant position in the app market, with a slate of developers such as Fortnite maker Epic Games accusing the company of distorting the market.

Apple currently takes a 30 per cent cut of transactions in the App Stores, as well as some in-app purchases.

Read more: Epic Games files EU competition complaint against Apple

It has taken a number of steps to stave off criticism, including cutting its App Store commission for smaller developers from 30 per cent to 15 per cent.

Earlier today the UK competition watchdog opened a probe into Apple over allegations its treatment of developers was “unfair and anti-competitive”.