Apple Fights $2 Billion Fine Following Spotify Complaint

Apple Fights

In March, Apple was hit with a hefty €1.8 billion ($2 billion) fine after a 2019 complaint from Spotify. The complaint centered on Apple’s practice of charging app developers a 30% fee for the first year of user subscriptions and 15% for subsequent years. Spotify argued this forced them to raise subscription prices, giving Apple Music an unfair advantage.

Apple is not taking this fine lightly. According to Bloomberg, the company has filed a lawsuit with the EU’s General Court in Luxembourg, seeking to overturn the significant penalty.

Apple contends that the European Commission failed to provide convincing evidence that consumers were harmed by its App Store policies. However, this stance seems to ignore the fundamental principles of antitrust laws, which prohibit predatory pricing irrespective of its immediate impact on consumers.

Previously, apps were not even allowed to inform users about cheaper subscription options outside the App Store. The European Commission has since introduced regulations requiring Apple to allow developers to promote alternative payment methods.

These changes mean developers can now include their own purchase links in the App Store, thereby bypassing the “Apple Tax.” Nevertheless, Apple still takes a commission on these transactions, though the rates have been slightly reduced to a range of 12 to 27% from the original 15 to 30%.

Despite the introduction of third-party purchase links, their commercial viability remains limited due to high commissions and various restrictions imposed by Apple.