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Apple faces €500 million fine from EU for unfair commercial practices

David Boulder
19. 2. 2024
2 min read

The European Commission is set to fine Apple €500 million for allegedly breaching EU "competition" laws. The fine is part of a wider EU crackdown targeting the antitrust behaviour of large technology companies, including Apple.

The latest investigation focused on whether Apple restricted apps from informing users about cheaper subscription alternatives outside its App Store. This may lead to users not being fully informed about all the options available and being drawn to Apple-owned paid services, which would could breach EU 'competition' laws.

"Competition" is where companies compete with each other in the marketplace for customers and aim to offer better products and services at lower prices, but unfair behavioursuch as market monopolisation can cause problems.

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Apple

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$191.40 $1.53 +0.80%

The European Commission has also accused Apple of abusing its position and found that its commercial terms and conditions for music subscription services "unfair". According to some allegations, Apple's preference for its own music service Apple Music over rival services such as Spotify. This preference for its own service and restriction of competition can be considered antitrust conduct.

This fine would be one of the largest financial penalties the EU has imposed on large technology companies. But Apple has faced fines for antitrust behaviour before, such as a €1.1 billion fine in France.

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Apple

AAPL
$191.40 $1.53 +0.80%
Target Price
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The European Commission is also about to adopt adigital markets law , which is important for the anti-competitive practices of big tech players such as Apple, Amazon a Google. For example, this law should allow third-party developers to distribute apps outside the App Store and bill their customers directly.

Apple $AAPL+0.8% has taken some steps to address EU regulations, such as announcing changes to its services within the EU and plans to allow developers to distribute apps to Apple devices through alternative stores.

It hasn't yet been determined when the official fine announcement is expected to be made, but according to reports, it would should not change the direction of the antitrust investigation. Apple has the right to appeal the decision to appeal to the EU courtsbut has so far declined to comment on the news.

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