Apple fined €1.84 billion for breaching antitrust rules, a vastly higher amount than first reported

An investigation found that Apple’s conduct had been ongoing for 10 years.

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Apple has been fined €1.84 billion for breaching antitrust rules due to its restriction of users’ access to competing streaming services via its App Store, also known as “anti-steering provisions”.

The fine is significantly higher than first expected. The Financial Times had originally reported last month that the brand was facing a €500 million antitrust penalty.

The European Commission’s investigation found that Apple bans music streaming app developers from fully informing iOS users about alternative and cheaper music subscription services available outside of the app, and from providing any instructions about how to subscribe to these offers.

Its report explains that the hefty fine is “proportionate to Apple’s global revenues and is necessary to achieve deterrence” and reveals that it has ordered Apple to “remove the anti-steering provisions and to refrain from repeating the infringement or from adopting practices with an equivalent object or effect in the future”.

The Commission also shares that Apple’s conduct went on for 10 years. Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President in charge of competition policy states, “For a decade, Apple abused its dominant position in the market for the distribution of music streaming apps through the App Store.

“They did so by restricting developers from informing consumers about alternative, cheaper music services available outside of the Apple ecosystem. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules, so today we have fined Apple over €1.8 billion.”

As previously reported, Apple responded to The Verge in a request for comment on the matter when original reports began to circulate. A representative said the company would not be “commenting on speculation” surrounding the fine, and referred it to previous comments made by another Apple spokesperson, who said the case had “no merit”.

Find out more via the European Commission.


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