Sci-tech

European investigation into abuse of power by Apple will start soon

European investigation into abuse of power by Apple will start soon”

No sooner had it announced a revamp of its music, video and news operations - through the addition of a bunch of "+" signs - than the European Union decides there is enough merit in a complaint from Spotify to launch an antitrust investigation.

Spotify recently passed 100m paying subscribers globally while Apple Music was at 56m at the last count.

So music streaming is going to be looked at, and it will be interesting to see whether the experts quoted in The Telegraph are correct and Apple's News and TV operations are included in a wider investigation.

The Spotify complaint is that Apple takes a 30% "Apple Tax" from subscriptions via the App Store.

Neither firm has responded to news of the EC's planned investigation, but Apple was quick to hit back at Spotify's complaint, arguing that Spotify wants all the benefits of a free app without being free.

"Apple requires that Spotify and other digital services pay a 30 percent tax on purchases made through Apple's payment system, including upgrading from our free to our premium service", said Spotify co-founder and chief executive Daniel Ek in a blog post at the time the complaint was filed.

He said the App Store rules should apply equally to all competitors, including Apple Music. After that, the European Commission would have chose to start a formal investigation.

Spotify is now the largest music streaming service in the world, with over 200 million users. Apple hasn't announced what the source is, nor given an estimate on when it will be fixed.

The company has also accused Apple of blocking the app from implementing "experience-enhancing upgrades" related to Siri, HomePod, and Apple Watch in favor of its own Apple Music.

Spotify's antitrust complaint against Apple is being taken seriously by the European Commission as evident in its immediate action. Apple could also end the probe early by changing the way it works if Spotify's claims are true.

Apple offers in the App Store the possibility to offer applications or subscriptions for a fee.



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