Apple Set to Get EU Antitrust Complaint Over Spotify

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Apple Inc. faces a European Union antitrust complaint as soon as this week, escalating a probe into Spotify Technology SA’s allegations that App Store rules are unfair, according to a person familiar with the case who asked not to be named because the process isn’t public.

The move raises the risk that the EU could order changes to Apple’s App Store or impose fines. Apple will have the chance to argue its case against any EU suspicions before regulators take a final decision. The EU is also probing Apple over e-books and payments.

Spotify complained in 2019 that Apple unfairly squeezes its music streaming service with ever-changing rules and a large sales commission on the app store. It has said it was forced to “artificially” increase monthly subscriptions for its premium service to cover the extra costs.

Apple’s regulatory woes have intensified in recent months as software developers criticize the the levies Apple and Alphabet Inc.’s Google charge outside developers for using their digital distribution platforms. App executives urged the U.S. Senate last week to tackle Apple’s control over the App Store.

Apple declined to comment on the EU probe, referring to a 2019 blog post where it said Spotify was trying to keep “substantial revenue that they draw from the App Store’s customers without making any contributions to that marketplace.”

The European Commission also declined to comment and Spotify didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Financial Times reported earlier on the EU’s complaint against Apple.

The EU is separately fighting Apple’s victory in a 13 billion-euro ($15.7 billion) tax dispute, in an effort to restore a landmark decision that took aim at Apple’s taxation structure.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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