Apple to receive monster €500m fine from EU for anti-competitive behaviour

Spotify scores possible big win over Apple Music
Image: Ekaterina-Bolovtsova via Pexels

19 February 2024

The European Commission is planning to fine Apple for the first time for alleged violations of EU law, according to the Financial Times. The fine, worth an estimated €500 million, is the result of a long-running antitrust investigation into whether Apple used its own platform to favour its own services.

The investigation was launched after a formal complaint in 2019, when Spotify alleged that Apple blocked apps that informed users about cheaper alternatives to music subscriptions outside the App Store. The European Commission is expected to declare Apple’s practices illegal and in violation of internal market competition rules.

The fine, if levied, would be one of the most significant financial penalties imposed by the EU on major technology companies. Apple was previously fined €372 million in France for alleged anti-competitive behavior, but has not previously been fined by the EU for antitrust violations.




The feud between Apple and Spotify comes at a crucial time. The European Commission’s decision comes just as the Digital Markets Act goes into effect early next month. This will require companies like Apple, Google and Amazon to cooperate in creating a competitive landscape in which smaller companies can also thrive.

Apple, meanwhile, has announced changes to its mobile software, App Store and Safari Internet browser to accommodate Brussels. Spotify labeled the move a “complete and total farce”.

For its part, Apple then lashed out at Spotify: “The App Store has helped Spotify become the largest music streaming service across Europe. We hope the European Commission will end the prosecution of a complaint that has no merit.”

Meanwhile, another complaint hangs over Apple’s head. The Commission is concerned that Apple is denying financial players access to the Apple Pay mobile system.

If the commission does rule in Spotify’s favour, Apple is expected to appeal.

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