European lawmakers unhappy with Apple’s music streaming practices


The European Commission (EC) says Apple unfairly restricts app developers from informing users about alternative iPhone and iPad music subscription services.

The EC, European Union’s (EU) executive branch, earlier said that the US tech giant is abusing its dominant position in the music-streaming market by imposing its own in-app purchase payment technology on music-streaming app developers.

However, European lawmakers narrowed the antitrust investigation to focus on the legal obligations Apple puts on developers. The EC believes the tech giant restricts developers’ capacity to inform users about alternative music subscription services.

According to the EC, Apple’s so-called “anti-steering obligations” are neither necessary nor proportionate, and only harm iPhone and iPad users.

“The Commission is concerned that the anti-steering obligations imposed by Apple on music streaming app developers prevent those developers from informing consumers about where and how to subscribe to streaming services at lower prices,” the EC said.

According to reports by Reuters, the case was triggered by complaints from Spotify, a Stockholm-based audio streaming service. The company said Apple unfairly restricted rivals to its own music streaming service, Apple Music, on iPhones.

That prompted the Commission to open a case and issue a charge sheet against Apple in April 2021 over its anti-steering mechanism and in-app payment system.


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