The European Commission is expected to bring charges against Apple this week, over concerns that its App Store rules fly in the face of EU competition laws. The charges are related to a two-year-old antitrust dispute with streaming music competitor Spotify.
Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition chief, will late this week publicly issue charges against Apple over concerns that the rules it sets for developers on its App store break EU law, according to several people with direct knowledge of the announcement.
In a 2019 complaint filed with the EC, Spotify alleged that Apple enforces App Store rules that “purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience,” and accused the Cupertino company of “acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers.”
Spotify says Apple’s 30% cut of the action on App Store purchases, including in-app subscriptions, means the streaming service is forced to charge in-app subscribers $12.99 per month for its Premium plan on the App Store, compared to the $9.99 per month price it traditionally charges.
Spotify has argued that the 30% commission charged by Apple gives it an unfair advantage, as it is able to charge just $9.99 for its Apple Music streaming service in the App Store.
The Spotify case is just one of several the EC has opened into Apple’s business practices. Apple could be forced to pay fines or change its App Store business model in Europe to encourage competition.