Wednesday, March 22, 2023
HomeSECURITYEuropean Commission drops investigation into Apple's anti-competitive behavior

European Commission drops investigation into Apple’s anti-competitive behavior


European Commission drops investigation into Apple’s anti-competitive behavior

The European Commission sees nothing wrong with Apple forcing developers to accept payments only through the Apple payment system.

The European Commission on February 28 scaled back its investigation into allegedly anti-competitive App Store rules for music streaming service providers.

Commission stated which no longer disputes Apple’s requirement that music streaming apps distributed through the Apple App Store must use Apple’s own app payment system.

The Commission’s decision not to challenge forcing apps to use Apple’s payment system may reflect changes expected to follow the passage of the EU Digital Markets Act – for example, requiring Apple to allow third-party app stores to offer their own payment mechanisms, which would make this questionable from a law enforcement point of view.

The Commission says that, at this stage of its investigation, it considers Apple’s rules to be unfair trading terms that violate Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

Under Apple’s anti-buy policy, apps and their metadata cannot contain buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchase mechanisms other than in-app purchases. In other words, apps can’t even advertise external payment options.

The music service Spotify, which in 2021 filed a complaint Apple to the European Commission over the company’s anti-competitive behavior, then said that Apple’s rules that prevent Spotify and other developers from informing consumers about offers or promotions through their apps meant that users were deprived of the opportunity to save money and enjoy a higher quality of services. This directly harms consumers. Apple did not provide comment.

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