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Reportedly, the EU is set to hit Apple with a $539 million fine in an antitrust probe.

Apple is currently under scrutiny from the European Union, facing the possibility of a hefty fine amounting to approximately $539 million (equivalent to 500 million euros). This potential penalty, along with potential restrictions on its practices within the App Store, particularly concerning music streaming services, has been reported by the Financial Times. The information is based on insights from five undisclosed sources familiar with the situation. It is anticipated that the European Commission will make an official announcement regarding this matter in the near future.

The investigation stems from a complaint filed by Spotify back in 2019, alleging anti-competitive behavior by Apple. At the core of the issue are the rules within the App Store that previously prevented developers from guiding users to alternative subscription options outside of the app. This restriction, enforced by Apple, effectively mandated developers to adhere to the platform’s 30 percent fee structure, potentially resulting in increased costs for consumers. Although Apple has subsequently relaxed these regulations, allowing developers to direct users to external subscription options, the European Commission is likely to assert that Apple’s previous policies violated EU antitrust laws. The Commission is expected to contend that Apple’s imposition of “anti-steering obligations” within the App Store created unfair conditions for its competitors.

If the European Commission proceeds with the anticipated fine and restrictions, it could significantly impact Apple’s operations within the EU market. Additionally, it could potentially set a precedent for other tech giants operating within the region. The outcome of this investigation will be closely monitored by industry observers and stakeholders, as it could have broader implications for competition and regulation within the digital marketplace. Apple has yet to issue an official response to these reports, but given the gravity of the situation, the company is likely to carefully consider its next steps in response to the European Commission’s findings.

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