The EU came out with a preliminary report from an investigation into Apple’s behavior in the music streaming market and it doesn’t look good for the tech giant.
According to the commission, Apple “distorted competition in the music streaming market as it abused its dominant position for the distribution of music streaming apps through its App Store. “
The report concluded that Apple’s restrictions on app developers prevented them from telling iPhone and iPad users about cheaper, alternative purchasing options outside of Apple’s ecosystem.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “App stores play a central role in today’s digital economy. We can now do our shopping, access news, music, or movies via apps instead of visiting websites. Our preliminary finding is that Apple is a gatekeeper to users of iPhones and iPads via the App Store. With Apple Music, Apple also competes with music streaming providers. By setting strict rules on the App store that disadvantage competing music streaming services, Apple deprives users of cheaper music streaming choices and distorts competition. This is done by charging high commission fees on each transaction in the App Store for rivals and by forbidding them from informing their customers of alternative subscription options.”
This is just the first step into the antitrust investigation. Apple will be allowed to respond to the accusations. In all likelihood, the company will probably come to some sort of settlement with the EU before a final judgment is made.