Remember when third-party apps like Fortnite sued Apple App Store for its huge commission? Now, the European Union (EU) has released its final verdict in the case. And it does not look good for the tech giant.
On Friday, April 30, EU has officially announced the result of its investigation in the Apple App Store commission issue. Based on their statement, the department says that they believed Apple might have broke its European competition law. Here’s their full findings and how they come up with this conclusion.
Apple breaks the law?
Amid the scrutiny of Apple being ‘unfair’ to its third-party app developers, the EU has now given their verdict about the case. The department accused in its report that Apple did monopolize the market, by continuing to demand money from iOS apps, even it’s already unequal to them.
Spotify, for example, had this problem against Apple. The music streaming app says that the App Store is using their company to rule out competitors, just like Spotify to Apple Music. This also resulted to unfair fees and rules on their side. In return, the third-party app needs to push more charges to users in order to make up with their losses with Apple.
“By setting strict rules on the App Store that disadvantage competing music streaming services, Apple deprives users of cheaper music streaming choices and distorts competition,” said Margrethe Vestager, the commission’s executive vice president in charge of antitrust enforcement in a statement.
Not yet final
Though Spotify already celebrated the initial findings of EU, Vestager said that the investigation is still nowhere near end. The result was only preliminary and no one still know when this will end, according to the New York Times.
Despite that, Spotify is taking positive note that this investigation may end good for them, and other third-party iOS apps in Apple App Store.
“Ensuring the iOS platform operates fairly is an urgent task with far-reaching implications,” Horacio Gutierrez, Spotify’s head of global affairs and chief legal officer, said in a statement. The commission’s announcement, he said, “is a critical step toward holding Apple accountable for its anticompetitive behavior, ensuring meaningful choice for all consumers and a level playing field for app developers.”
In Apple’s defense
In Apple’s defense, the Cupertino-based company reiterated that Spotify was not part of the 30% commission in their App Store. They even called the Commission’s argument on Spotify’s behalf as the “opposite of fair competition.”
“Spotify has become the largest music subscription service in the world, and we’re proud for the role we played in that,” an Apple spokesperson told TechRadar Pro. “Spotify does not pay Apple any commission on over 99% of their subscribers, and only pays a 15% commission on those remaining subscribers that they acquired through the App Store.
“At the core of this case is Spotify’s demand they should be able to advertise alternative deals on their iOS app, a practice that no store in the world allows. Once again, they want all the benefits of the App Store but don’t think they should have to pay anything for that.”
As said, the investigation is still not over between the party of Apple and other third-party apps on their App Store. Let’s wait on their other arguments on the matter.