Reports suggest Apple is ready to dig its heels in against European Union antitrust regulators. Here’s the latest.
The most profitable company in the world says it doesn’t need to make more changes to the App Store. That assertion follows formal charges over how its platform handles third-party developers and even necessitated some changes Apple willingly made. Apple says the EU has wrongly accused it of illegal curbs on Spotify and other developers encouraging users away from the App Store.
Apple insists that the changes it has made since the original suit was filed in 2021 are enough to “create a fair balance between the interests of Apple and app developers,” reads the report. The EU narrowed its anti-trust probe in February 2023 focusing on “contractual restrictions that Apple imposed on app developers which prevent them from informing iPhone and iPad users of alternative music subscription options.”
Meanwhile, Spotify argues that Apple’s rules against mentioning alternative payment methods prevents it from telling consumers about deals or promotions. “These rules still exist today and Apple’s supposed changes in fact change nothing at all and are just for show,” Spotify said in a statement. “We support the European Commission and believe that the charge sheet addresses Apple’s unfair business practices.”
Spotify urged the EU’s antitrust unit to examine Apple with complaints about the ‘Apple Tax‘ or the 30% cut that Apple takes from subscription fees. Apple lowered that cut to 15% for app developers who make $1 million or less in a fiscal year—which leaves Spotify paying the full 30% on everything it makes past its first million from the App Store.
European regulators are still examining whether Apple’s business practices have violated antitrust laws. If so, Apple could face potential fines of up to 10% of its annual sales. Currently, there’s no indication of when the commission will conclude its probes.