Deezer Says the European Commission’s $1.95 Billion Fine Isn’t Enough—Calls Apple’s New DMA Rules ‘Deceptive’

Deezer EU Apple Music fine
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Deezer EU Apple Music fine
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Photo Credit: Deezer

Deezer has issued a statement praising the European Commission’s $1.95B+ fine for Apple breaking antitrust rules. However, it says the company’s newly implemented rules are aimed at circumventing the spirit of the Digital Markets Act.

Deezer CEO Jeronimo Folgueira thanked the EU for its action, but says Apple’s new regulations regarding third-party app content makes it impossible for larger apps to step outside the App Store ecosystem as intended.

Apple introduced these new rules in January 2024 to comply with new DMA rules—including new commission structure. For developers who opt into the DMA terms, a new ‘Core Technology Fee’ is applied, which charges €0.50 per first install over 1,000,000 installs. Apple relies heavily on its Services division income which includes the 30% tax collected from developers who utilize the App Store.

“It’s very positive to see that the EU is taking action against Apple and is showing readiness to firmly sanction anti-competitive practices,” Deezer CEO Jeronimo Folgueira begins. “We hope and expect that the EU Commission will assess the recently proposed update to Apple’s terms for the App Store in light of this fine and make it clear without a doubt that what has been proposed is not enough to comply with the Digital Markets Act.”

“We want to reiterate that Apple’s response to the DMA is an attempt to circumvent the new regulations with an alternative to the current business terms in the App Store. Apple claims that its new terms include a ‘reduced commission’ they also include additional ‘Core Technology Fees’ which are not designed for companies with large install volumes. Charging a yearly $.50 cent fee per app download or update is excessive, it prevents natural growth and makes it prohibitively expensive to scale any app business profitably.”

“As it stands, for an established app company like Deezer, there’s no foreseeable benefit in switching to Apple’s alternative business terms,” Folgueira continues. “In Deezer’s view, Apple’s response to the DMA is fundamentally deceptive and an attempt to bypass European regulations.”

Deezer and several other developers drafted an open letter to the European Commission last week stating that Apple is making a mockery of the Digital Markets Act. Other companies signing onto this open letter include Spotify, Epic Games, 37signals, Proton, totaling 34 companies speaking out against Apple’s new regulations.