Apple Gets Slapped with a Hefty Fine for App Store’s Abusive “Anti-Steering Provisions”

Veloz Lamma

Apple Gets Slapped with a Hefty Fine for App Store’s Abusive “Anti-Steering Provisions”

It seems as if Apple is having a hard time catching a break as the company has been slapped with a hefty fine amounting to €1.8 billion or roughly $1.95 billion. Of course, the Cupertino giant is not too happy about the situation and has even issued a statement and plans to appeal to the European Commission. Whatever comes out of that is still unknown, however.

Apple is not happy with the hefty fine and plans on going for an appeal, harsh words spoken about Spotify

The announcement is coming straight from the European Commission, which has fined the company over €1.8 billion for abusing its very evident dominant power in the market. For those who don’t know, Apple has been applying restrictions on app developers. These restrictions prevent these developers from informing iOS users about alternative and cheaper music subscription services that are available outside the app. EU is calling these “anti-steering provisions,” and under the EU antitrust rules, they are illegal.

As far as these so-called provisions are concerned, here’s something that the European Commission shared.

  • Informing iOS users within the app about prices of subscription offers available on the internet outside the app (i.e., outside of Apple’s controlled ecosystem).
  • Informing iOS users within the app about the price difference when subscribing through Apple’s in-app purchase mechanism against other alternatives.
  • Including links in their apps that steer users to the developer’s website to buy alternative subscriptions.
    • App developers also could not contact new users by email to inform them about alternative pricing options after they set up an account.

The European Commission has even talked about how these anti-steering provisions are akin to unfair trading conditions under the EU law, and they are neither necessary nor proportionate when it comes to helping Apple with its commercial interests. In addition to that, these provisions are not working in favor of iOS users either, as the users are left without the ability to make informed decisions.

Apple did not hold back and issued a statement talking about how the company is going to appeal the European Commission’s decision. The company also had some things to say about Spotify and how it is paying the company nothing despite being downloaded, re-downloaded, or updated over 119 billion times on all Apple devices. Below is an excerpt from the official statement.

…Instead, Spotify wants to bend the rules in their favor by embedding subscription prices in their app without using the App Store’s In-App Purchase system. They want to use Apple’s tools and technologies, distribute on the App Store, and benefit from the trust we’ve built with users — and to pay Apple nothing for it.

Whatever happens to Apple’s appeal is something we will get to see in the coming future, but at the time of writing, it feels like the EU is looking to have its way. We are going to keep an eye on the situation and keep you posted on whatever happens to this situation.

News Source: European Commissio

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