Apple takes EU to court over $2 billion Apple Music fine

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV

Apple has filed a lawsuit with Europe's General Court over the EU's decision to fine it for Apple Music's alleged unfair competition practices against Spotify.

Spotify's App Store icon (left), Apple Music (right)
Spotify's App Store icon (left), Apple Music (right)



In March 2024, the European Union fined Apple $1.8 billion for what it called a violation of antitrust rules. Specifically, it said that Apple was preventing users from being told of "alternative, cheaper music services available outside of the Apple eco system."

However, the accusation ignored how Spotify holds more than twice the market share of Apple Music despite this alleged preventing users knowing about it. Now according to Bloomberg, Apple has taken its case to the EU General Court in Luxembourg.

Apple had already announced that it would appeal, and has not commented further. However, Apple previously claimed that the fine was imposed "despite the Commission's failure to uncover any credible evidence of consumer harm, and ignores the realities of a market that is thriving, competitive, and growing fast."

"The primary advocate for this decision -- and the biggest beneficiary -- is Spotify, a company based in Stockholm, Sweden," continued Apple. "Today, Spotify has a 56 percent share of Europe's music streaming market -- more than double their closest competitor's -- and pays Apple nothing for the services that have helped make them one of the most recognizable brands in the world."

The European Commission says it is ready to defend its decisions.

Separately, the EU is also reportedly investigating whether Apple is trying to drive developers away from the new contract options it has been forced to offer under the Digital Markets Act.



Read on AppleInsider

ronn

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    40domi40domi Posts: 138member
    It's about time someone, took those corrupt Eurocrats to court!!!
    rob53ssfe11teejay2012ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 10
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,804member
    40domi said:
    It's about time someone, took those corrupt Eurocrats to court!!!
    Lots of these decisions end up in court. It is an option open to those who are fined.

    spheric
  • Reply 3 of 10
    ssfe11ssfe11 Posts: 42member
    Apple Law with its years and years of taking on literally everyone and every lawsuit imaginable will make mincemeat of the EU lawyers. Prepare to be embarrassed. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 10
    ssfe11 said:
    Apple Law with its years and years of taking on literally everyone and every lawsuit imaginable will make mincemeat of the EU lawyers. Prepare to be embarrassed. 

    Assuming the EU court isn't already predisposed against Apple in the first place.  I'm not convinced that the EU court system isn't as corrupt as the EU bureaucracy.
    rob53elijahgronnmacxpresswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 10
    raymondairaymondai Posts: 42member
    If one day Apple sells burger or coffee, Apple has to promote or tell the user there is McDonald or Starbucks?
    Should Samsung tell everyone there is iPhone SE or Mercedes Benz remarks Toyota in their Ads?
    XDDD


    ssfe11ronnAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 10
    teejay2012teejay2012 Posts: 386member
    Vestager lost her Irish-Apple tax case in court, so I think the EU court deals with laws and not feelings. The $2B fine was many times higher than even EU regulators thought, because Vestager wanted to send 'a message'. She arbitrarily increased to this. I think we get the message - 'We can make things up as we go along.' Given the market leader position of Spotify, it is hard to see how the EU will win this. Spotify, a horribly run company with an incompetent CEO who's motto is 'spend, spend, spend' and then 'fire, fire, fire... and fine Apple'. Daniel Ek has spent millions on soccer club support, paid way too much for mediocre podcasters, fired 1700 employees AFTER hosting a lavish company party, became a billionaire when the company went public, yet Spotify has never made a profit despite its dominant/near monopoly market position. I think all of the tech companies who are next to be axed are watching this case closely. Perhaps the law will prevail.

    And yes I know the Irish-Apple tax case in under appeal. Vestager will lose again as the facts have not changed.
    edited May 21 danoxsphericronnAlex1Nchasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 10
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,045member
    Vestager is still sore from that encounter.......
    edited May 21 watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 10
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,347member
    danox said:
    Vestager is still sore from that encounter.......
    On that appeals front:

    "According to the (EU) Advocate General, the General Court committed a series of errors in law when it ruled that the commission had not shown to the required legal standard that the intellectual property licences held by Apple subsidiaries based in Ireland and related profits generated by the sales of Apple products outside the USA, had to be attributed for tax purposes to the Irish branches.

    The Advocate General also says the General Court failed to assess correctly the substance and consequences of certain methodological errors that, according to the Commission decision, undermined the validity of the tax rulings.

    The Advocate General therefore says that in his view it is necessary for the General Court to carry out a new assessment."


    It's rare that the court does not follow the Advocate Generals opinion.  It's entirely possible Vesteger wins in the end. We'll know the general direction in a matter of weeks, a few months at worst.
    edited May 21 ronnsphericAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 10
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,377member
    While I am not one of those who automatically assumes the EU is in the wrong and Apple is in the right, on this particular case Apple has very solid footing. I think it would be very easy for Apple to show that Vestager specifically is working from a position of protecting Spotify’s market dominance because they are a European company (that still hasn’t made a dime in actual net profit, last I checked).
    ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 10
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,045member
    gatorguy said:
    danox said:
    Vestager is still sore from that encounter.......
    On that appeals front:

    "According to the (EU) Advocate General, the General Court committed a series of errors in law when it ruled that the commission had not shown to the required legal standard that the intellectual property licences held by Apple subsidiaries based in Ireland and related profits generated by the sales of Apple products outside the USA, had to be attributed for tax purposes to the Irish branches.

    The Advocate General also says the General Court failed to assess correctly the substance and consequences of certain methodological errors that, according to the Commission decision, undermined the validity of the tax rulings.

    The Advocate General therefore says that in his view it is necessary for the General Court to carry out a new assessment."


    It's rare that the court does not follow the Advocate Generals opinion.  It's entirely possible Vesteger wins in the end. We'll know the general direction in a matter of weeks, a few months at worst.

    In the European Union, the advocates general (Frenchavocats généraux, singular: avocat général) are high-ranking functionaries serving in the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Modelled after the French commissaire du gouvernement [fr], the position of advocate general was created together with the European Court of Justice in 1951, when the Treaty of Paris was signed.

    The advocate general participates in the court cases and may question the parties, after which they craft their opinions, though in the case when no new point of law is raised, it is not needed. It is only after their opinion that the Court of Justice starts to make its judgment. While the advocate general's opinion is not binding for the ECJ nor for the courts in the member states, their conclusions are often taken into consideration and are often indicative of the ruling by the Court of Justice in the case.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advocate_general_(European_Union)

    In short another ass covering/time delaying Bureaucrat who gives the Government one last/many shots at overruling a decision pathetic. Ha.Ha.Ha......Grateful for the American system whether you win or loose in court.

    edited May 22 watto_cobra
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