European Union regulators are accusing Apple of violating the bloc’s antitrust rules. The accusation is the company distorts competition for music streaming through rules for its App Store. The EU’s executive Commission said Friday, April 30, 2021, it objected to Apple’s way of doing business, which it said ends up costing consumers more and limiting their choices. One of the main concerns outlined by the EU centers on Apple’s practice of forcing app developers selling digital content to use its in-house payment system, which charges a 30% commission on all subscriptions.The EU’s investigation followed up on a complaint from the popular music-streaming service Swedish company Spotify filed two years ago. “Our concern is that Apple distorts competition in the music streaming market to the benefit of its own music streaming service, Apple Music,” the EU’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said. The EU also raised concerns that Apple prevents developers from telling users about cheaper payment methods.
Apple rejected the charges, saying it was proud of its role in helping Spotify grow into a music streaming giant. “Once again, they want all the benefits of the App Store but don’t think they should have to pay anything for that,” Apple said in a statement. Apple has 12 weeks to respond to the EU’s objections. The company could be fined billions of euros. The case will be an important test of a government’s ability to force one of Silicon Valley’s most powerful companies to change its behavior. The accusations are the latest development in a series of high profile battles between the European Union and Big Tech companies that have resulted in hefty penalties.