EU to hit Apple with colossal fine

EU to hit Apple with hefty fine

Image of an apple store. Credit: TonyV3112/

The European Union is expected to impose a fine of over half a billion euros on Apple, marking a significant milestone in the tech industry’s legal landscape.

This landmark penalty, estimated at around €500 million, is expected to be unveiled in early March.

It concludes an extensive antitrust investigation by the European Commission, initiated by Spotify’s complaint in 2019, concerning Apple’s music streaming service operations within the EU.

Digital competition

The crux of the investigation revolves around Apple’s alleged preferential treatment of its services on its platform, potentially side-lining competitors.

According to the Financial Times, the probe looked into whether Apple restricted apps from notifying iPhone users about more economical alternatives for music subscriptions outside the App Store.

Insiders expect the Commission to declare Apple’s behaviour as unlawful and violate the bloc’s regulations that promote competition within the single market.

Furthermore, the EU plans to prohibit Apple’s practice of hindering music services from directing users to less expensive options outside its App Store, accusing Apple of leveraging its dominant position to impose anti-competitive trading practices on rivals.

Tech giants under scrutiny

This fine represents one of the most substantial financial penalties imposed by the EU on a major technology firm. It comes in the wake of a series of penalties against Google totaling approximately €8 billion, which are currently under legal challenge.

Previously, Apple had not faced antitrust fines from Brussels, though it was fined €1.1 billion in France in 2020 for similar accusations, which was appealed and later reduced to €372 million.

The EU’s stern action signals a renewed conflict between Brussels and major tech companies, underlining the importance of compliance with the Digital Markets Act, aimed at fostering competition and enabling smaller tech entities to flourish.

In response to the antitrust case, Apple made changes to its iOS mobile software, App Store, and Safari browser, attempting to align with Brussels’ demands.

However, Spotify, the Swedish-based music streaming provider, dismissed these efforts as a ‘complete and total farce’.

Apple has the option to challenge the EU’s decision in court. Both Apple and the European Commission have refrained from commenting on the imminent ruling.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • Hammie

      19 February 2024 • 16:34

      €500 mil is nothing to Apple, they still ignore the law and pay these fines as a business expense.

    • Dave Smith

      21 February 2024 • 06:02

      I really don´t believe these fines are justified, today almost everyone is totally aware of how the internet works and if a person wants a cheaper APP they can get it by spending a few seconds longer on the internet. What people should be more concerned about is that the corrupt EU hierarchy keep introducing news laws that nobody needs or are required, these laws mainly restrict our freedoms and we should all be very concerned about that

    Comments are closed.