The European Union (EU) on Friday accused Apple, the American digital giant, of abusing its dominant position in the on-line market and distorting competition of music streaming providers.
European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager said Apple exercises considerable market power in the distribution of music streaming apps to owners of Apple devices.
“On that market, Apple has a monopoly,” said Vestager. Apple controls the only access to apps on Apple devices, and it also offers a music streaming service that competes with other apps available in the Apple App Store, such as Spotify or Deezer.
Apple charges a high commission fee for all purchases through its system, a condition that is too hard that some music streaming providers choose to stop offering paid subscriptions in their apps.
Another concern is that the app developers are not allowed to inform users of cheaper alternatives elsewhere.
“Through these rules, Apple steps in between its competitors and their customers,” noted Vestager. With access to valuable data, Apple gets insights which its competitors do not get, she added.
She said Apple has been offered an opportunity to respond to the concerns.
The case was formally opened less than a year ago when both Europe and the United States bore the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.