EU might charge Apple for anti-competitive practices against Spotify

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Apple might face an EU antitrust charge sheet in the next few weeks, after Spotify, a big rival, complained that the iPhone maker unfairly pushed its own music streaming service. Reuters broke the news, after speaking with two people familiar with the issue, on Thursday.

The European Commission might send the statement of objections, detailing the alleged violations of its antitrust rules to Apple, before the summer. The case is one of a quartet of cases opened by the EU competition watchdog against the tech giant in June last year.

The EU charge sheet provides information on whether a fine is merited and what companies have to do to stop anti-competitive behavior.

Apple Music vs. Spotify

The Commission declined to give Reuters a comment about the issue. Apple referred back to a blog it posted in March, in which it said that the App Store helped Spotify to gain hundreds of millions of downloads and eventually becoming the largest music streaming service in Europe.

Spotify’s complaint to the Commission said that Apple unfairly holds back its rivals that compete with Apple Music (the company’s music streaming platform).

Spotify also protested against the 30% fee Apple levies on app developers’ in-app purchases.

Mounting pressure

The EU watchdog is investigating other cases, apart from this one. One of the cases is about Apple’s App Store rules for all competing apps, audiobooks, and e-books, as well as the terms and conditions for Apple Pay, its mobile payment platform.

The UK competition watchdog opened an investigation into Apple’s practices on Thursday. The Dutch agency is on the verge of deciding its own case, as pressure mounts to curb the power of big tech in Europe and other countries.