Apple praises EC antitrust refocus, but ignores the bad parts

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited February 2023
Following the European Union saying Apple has broken antitrust laws, the company has issued a statement that focuses on only the parts of the announcement that support its case.




The European Commission (EC) again declared that Apple had broken antitrust laws, but as in 2021 over the same case, it issued a statement of objections rather than a ruling. Apple has now also commented publicly, but only regarding an issue in the case that it has arguably won.
"Apple will continue to work with the European Commission to understand and respond to their concerns, all the while promoting competition and choice for European consumers. We're pleased that the Commission has narrowed its case and is no longer challenging Apple's right to collect a commission for digital goods and require the use of the In-App Payment systems users trust. The App Store has helped Spotify become the top music streaming service across Europe and we hope the European Commission will end its pursuit of a complaint that has no merit."
With its new 2023 statement of objections, the EC removed its complaint about in-app purchasing. However, it continued to accuse Apple of antitrust violations regarding the restrictions it has placed on developers.

"[The new Statement of Objections] rather focuses on the contractual restrictions that Apple imposed on app developers," said the EC in a press release, "which prevent them from informing iPhone and iPad users of alternative music subscription options at lower prices outside of the app and to effectively choose those."

Apple has made no comment on this element of the EU's findings.

Spotify reacts to EC update

However, Apple Music rival Spotify has. The EC began investigating its case after Spotify filed a complaint in 2019, and now the company's general counsel has commented on the latest update.

"Today, the European Commission sent a clear message that Apple's anti-competitive behavior and unfair practices have harmed consumers and disadvantaged developers for far too long," said Eve Konstan, Spotify's general counsel, in a statement. "We urge the Commission to reach a swift decision in this case to protect consumers and restore fair competition on the iOS platform."

Regardless of Apple's choosing not to comment publicly on the remaining antitrust issue, it will now have to respond to the EC. There is no statutory deadline or timescale for its response, however.

If the EC ultimately rules that Apple is guilty of antitrust behaviors, it can fine the company up to 10% of its annual worldwide turnover. Consequently, Apple is potentially facing a $39 billion fine.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    red oakred oak Posts: 1,079member
    Please stt the op with the “potential $39 billion dollar fine” click-bait 
    JFC_PAwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 8
    It's a big win for Apple because the EU pretty much confirm platform owners can keep their 30% cut and continue as business as usual.  The only part the EU took issue with is something Apple already addressed with their changes to the appstore already.  No government is going to dictate to a private company how much their should charge for their platform services no matter how much some folks scream about it.
    lolliverBart Ywatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 8
    toukale said:
    It's a big win for Apple because the EU pretty much confirm platform owners can keep their 30% cut and continue as business as usual.  The only part the EU took issue with is something Apple already addressed with their changes to the appstore already.  No government is going to dictate to a private company how much their should charge for their platform services no matter how much some folks scream about it.
    Governments dictate prices that companies can charge all the time. AT&T’s rates for both local and long distances were set by regulators. My state of Florida dictates what individual  insurance companies are allowed to charge their policyholders with specific companies allowed to charge more than others for the exact same coverage. Personally I prefer prices be set by the free market but apparently most people prefer prices be regulated.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    Apple is hardly "ignoring the bad parts."  They lead off with a statement acknowledging that there are issue that need to be address, and the second sentence reinforces that. By saying they are "are pleased that the Commission has narrowed its case..." they are clearly saying that they are only partially off the hook. What would we expect Apple to say: "We sure hope we don't get hit with a $39 billion fine!"
    lolliverBart Ywatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 8
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 527member
    Spotify is worthless garbage compared to Apple Music or Tidal

    Spotify should focus on improving its product rather than trying to depend on socialist governments entities like EU to suppress free enterprise 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 8
    pwrmacpwrmac Posts: 55member
    Without Apple Spotify would probably not exist or be a marginal company. So anti comparative or not. Spotify wants a free ride on IOS so maybe they could be profitable one day.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 8
    davidwdavidw Posts: 2,025member
    Coincidentally (or maybe not a coincidence at all), this is turning out almost exactly like the US Epic vs Apple anti-trust case. In the US, the CA Federal judge also dismissed Epic claim that Apple commission was anti-competitive due to an abuse of a "monopoly", because Epic did not prove Apple have a "monopoly". However, the judge did questioned the commission high 30%, but said that there was still nothing illegal about it.

    But the US Federal judge did find Apple violated CA Unfair Competition Law. The UCL is a catch-all law that allows the courts to charge a business with violating a law that might not be a violation of any anti-trust laws. The courts only need to determine that the allege anti-competitive behavior in the case, is "unfair" to other businesses or consumers. This involved Apple not allowing developers a link or advertise in their app, their own payment system  and thus falls under the anti-steering provision in CA UCL. This is what Apple is appealing now.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 8
    KTRKTR Posts: 278member
    davidw said:
    Coincidentally (or maybe not a coincidence at all), this is turning out almost exactly like the US Epic vs Apple anti-trust case. In the US, the CA Federal judge also dismissed Epic claim that Apple commission was anti-competitive due to an abuse of a "monopoly", because Epic did not prove Apple have a "monopoly". However, the judge did questioned the commission high 30%, but said that there was still nothing illegal about it.

    But the US Federal judge did find Apple violated CA Unfair Competition Law. The UCL is a catch-all law that allows the courts to charge a business with violating a law that might not be a violation of any anti-trust laws. The courts only need to determine that the allege anti-competitive behavior in the case, is "unfair" to other businesses or consumers. This involved Apple not allowing developers a link or advertise in their app, their own payment system  and thus falls under the anti-steering provision in CA UCL. This is what Apple is appealing now.
    I hope apple wins 🤞
    watto_cobra
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