Apple Receives $2 Billion Fine from EU After Spotify’s Antitrust Complaint

## Apple Hit with $2 Billion Fine by EU

Recently, Apple found itself at the receiving end of a hefty anti-competition fine. The tech giant was fined €1.8 billion or nearly $2 billion by the European Commission. The fine follows allegations from Spotify, the Sweden-based music streaming giant, that Apple has been engaging in anti-competitive behavior.

The Allegation and Fine

In a press release, the European Commission explained that Apple was fined for “abusing its dominant position for the distribution of music streaming apps” through its App Store. The Commission found that Apple had placed restrictions on app developers, preventing them from informing iOS users about alternative and cheaper music subscription services available outside of the app, which they referred to as ‘anti-steering provisions’. According to EU antitrust rules, this is illegal.

Apple responded to the fine and the allegations in a press release, stating that they were shocked by the fine and had only wanted to deliver “a safe and trusted marketplace for users” with their App Store. Apple also highlighted that Spotify’s app had been downloaded, re-downloaded, or updated over 119 billion times on Apple devices.

The Spotify Angle

Spotify, who is at the center of this issue, has had a long-standing relationship with Apple. As the largest music streaming app in the world, Spotify has met with the European Commission more than 65 times during this investigation.

Apple accuses Spotify of wanting to embed subscription prices in their app without using the App Store’s In-App Purchase system. The Cupertino-based company believes that Spotify wants to use Apple’s tools and technologies, distribute on the App Store, and benefit from the trust built with users — and pay Apple nothing for it.

The Upcoming DMA Compliance

Following this decision, Apple is set to comply with Europe’s upcoming Digital Markets Act (DMA) regulations. The tech giant expressed its concerns over the timing of the fine, saying that the Commission issued the decision just before their new regulation — the DMA — comes into force. Apple believes that the decision is an effort by the Commission to enforce the DMA before it becomes law.


This hefty fine and the subsequent compliance with the DMA could potentially change how Apple operates its App Store in Europe. As one of the world’s largest tech companies, this decision will likely set a precedent for how other tech companies are treated in relation to anti-competition laws.


  1. What is the Digital Markets Act (DMA)?
    The DMA is a proposed regulation by the European Commission aimed at preventing large online platforms from engaging in unfair practices and promoting competition.

  2. Why was Apple fined?
    Apple was fined for abusing its dominant position in the market by enforcing restrictions on app developers, preventing them from informing iOS users about cheaper alternatives outside of the App Store.

  3. What is Spotify’s role in this situation?
    Spotify filed the original complaint that led to the investigation and fine, alleging that Apple was engaging in anti-competitive behavior.

  4. How does this affect Apple’s users?
    The changes that Apple will need to make to comply with the DMA could lead to users having more choice and potentially access to cheaper services.

  5. What is the impact on app developers?
    The decision could provide app developers with more freedom to inform users about alternative services and pricing options outside of the App Store.Apple Receives $2 Billion Fine from EU After Spotify's Antitrust Complaint