The European Commission’s top official, Margrette Westeger, said on Friday that the block had reached the “preliminary conclusion” that Apple was in violation of competition law.
The company’s music service competes with streaming services “but Apple charges higher commission fees over rivals in the Apple Store and forbids them to notice alternative subscription options,” she said in a post on Twitter. “Losing consumers,” she said.
The commission said in a statement on Friday that it “makes an issue” the mandatory use of Apple’s in-app purchase system imposed on streaming services. It added that “it is also concerned that Apple imposes certain restrictions on app developers, preventing them from notifying iPhone and iPad users with alternative, cheaper possibilities.”
“By establishing strict rules on the App Store that hurt music streaming services, Apple has denied users the competition for inexpensive music streaming options and distractions,” Wester said in the statement.
“Fairness is the key to competition,” Spotify CEO Daniel Eck said in a Twitter post.
“We are close to creating a level playing field, which is very important for the entire ecosystem of European developers,” he said.
The allegation is the latest development in a series of high-profile battles between the European Union and Big Tech companies resulting in heavy fines. Apple may eventually be fined up to 10% of its annual sales if found to be in violation of competition rules.
Apple said in a statement on Friday that “the Commission’s argument on behalf of Spotify is contrary to fair competition.”
“At the core of the matter is Spotify’s demand that they should be able to advertise alternative deals on their iOS app, a practice that no one in the world allows to store. Once again, they are part of the App Store All want the benefits, but do not think. They said that they have to pay anything for this.
Europe repeatedly turned itself into police on the Big Tech Beat after repeatedly enforcing its rules and killing the industry’s top US companies with heavy fines.
Last year, Apple appealed in 2016 against a decision by the European Commission that it owed Ireland € 13 billion ($ 14.9 billion) in taxes.
The second Supreme Court of the European Union ruled that the Commission did not prove that the company had received illegal state aid from Ireland through favorable tax agreements. Westeger has appealed the decision.
– Hadas Gold contributed to this article.