On Friday, Apple will be addressing a revised EU antitrust charge and the potential for a significant fine. The charge is related to allegations that Apple restricts music streaming companies, like Spotify, from informing users about alternative purchasing options outside of its App Store.
According to Reuters, the iPhone maker will present its arguments to senior European Commission officials and national competition agencies at a closed hearing in Brussels.
Earlier this year, EU antitrust enforcers strengthened their case against the company’s anti-steering obligations, but they no longer pursued the earlier charge regarding Apple’s requirement for developers to use its in-app payment system.
According to the Commission, the anti-steering obligations violate EU rules on unfair trading conditions, which is a relatively new legal argument in an antitrust case.
Apple has stated that the case sparked by a complaint from Spotify in 2019 has no validity, citing the dominant market share of the Swedish music streaming service in Europe. Apple Music currently ranks third or fourth in most EU countries.
Its other argument is that it has revised rules to allow reader apps such as Spotify and Netflix to include links to their website for sign-ups and user payments, allowing app developers to bypass its controversial 30% App Store fee.