Apple Faces €1.8 Billion Fine for Restricting Music App Competition on iOS.

Apple is facing a hefty fine of €1.8 billion from the European Commission (EC) for implementing what are known as ‘anti-steering provisions’ on its App Store. These provisions restrict app developers from informing iOS users about alternative and potentially cheaper music subscription services available outside of the App Store.

According to the EC’s findings, Apple’s restrictions not only prevent app developers from fully disclosing alternative music subscription options to iOS users but also prohibit them from providing instructions on how to subscribe to these alternatives. This practice is considered illegal under EU antitrust rules.

While users have the option to subscribe to third-party music streaming services either through the App Store or directly from the service’s website, opting for the latter is often more cost-effective as Apple does not take a commission. However, Apple’s policies prohibit app developers from advertising this pricing disparity or including links in their apps to redirect users to their websites for subscriptions.

The EC’s decision to impose a €1.8 billion fine aims to deter Apple and other large companies from engaging in similar anticompetitive practices in the future. Additionally, Apple is required to remove the anti-steering provisions and refrain from repeating such infringements or implementing similar practices with comparable objectives or effects.

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