Apple Faces 500 Million Euro Fine from EU for App Store Violations

The European Union is reportedly set to impose a hefty fine of around 500 million euros on Apple for violating antitrust laws related to its App Store policies. This would mark the first antitrust penalty imposed on Apple by EU regulators. The fine comes as a result of an investigation that was launched in 2019 after a complaint by Spotify, the popular music streaming service.

Initial complaints by Spotify alleged that Apple used its control of the iOS App Store to unfairly promote its own Apple Music streaming service. Apple’s rules, which prevent app developers from informing users about cheaper subscription options outside of the App Store payment system, were a major focus of the investigation. In addition, Apple charges developers a commission of up to 30% on in-app purchases.

Alongside the fine, the EU is expected to announce a ban on the controversial “anti-steering” provisions, which have been accused of stifling competition. This ban would prevent Apple from restricting music streaming apps like Spotify from directing users to better subscription deals. The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, will accuse Apple of breaching the bloc’s rules aimed at ensuring fair competition.

If implemented, this fine would be one of the most significant antitrust penalties imposed by the EU on a major technology company. Apple is already facing compliance challenges due to the EU’s new Digital Markets Act, which will place stricter constraints on online platform giants. Apple introduced App Store changes last month to address some of the EU’s concerns, but critics argue that these changes do not go far enough.

In addition to the fine, Apple is also under investigation in the EU for other antitrust issues related to mobile payments and e-books. The company maintains that its App Store policies are designed to provide a trusted platform for consumers and developers alike.

While Apple has the option to appeal any EU penalty, the reported fine and ban represent a significant push by regulators to loosen Apple’s control over the iOS app ecosystem.

欧盟据报道将对苹果处以约5亿欧元的巨额罚款,原因是苹果违反了与其应用商店政策相关的反垄断法。这将是欧盟监管机构首次对苹果进行的反垄断罚款。此罚款源于2019年Spotify这一受欢迎的音乐流媒体服务提出的投诉后的一项调查。

Spotify最初的投诉声称苹果利用其控制的iOS应用商店不公平地推广自己的Apple Music音乐流媒体服务。苹果的规定阻止应用开发者告知用户可在应用商店支付系统外找到更便宜的订阅选择,此规定是调查的主要焦点。此外,苹果对应用内购买收取高达30%的佣金。

除罚款外,欧盟预计将宣布禁止备受争议的“反指导”条款,这些条款被指责扼杀竞争。此禁令将阻止苹果限制音乐流媒体应用(如Spotify)指导用户获取更好的订阅优惠。欧盟的行政机构欧洲委员会将指责苹果违反该联盟为确保公平竞争而制定的规则。

如果实施,这将是欧盟对一家大型科技公司实施的最重要的反垄断罚款之一。苹果已面临遵守欧盟新的数字市场法所带来的挑战,该法将对在线平台巨头施加更严格的限制。苹果上个月引入了一些应用商店变更以解决欧盟的一些担忧,但批评人士认为这些变更还不够。

除了罚款外,苹果还因与移动支付和电子书有关的其他反垄断问题而在欧盟接受调查。该公司坚持认为其应用商店政策旨在为消费者和开发者提供可信赖的平台。

尽管苹果有权对任何欧盟处罚提出上诉,但报道中提到的罚款和禁令代表了监管机构大力削弱苹果对iOS应用生态系统的控制的重要一步。

常见术语和关键词定义:
1. Antitrust laws – 反垄断法:法律旨在防止和惩罚企业垄断和不正当竞争行为。
2. App Store – 应用商店:苹果公司的应用程序分发平台,用户可以从中下载和安装iOS应用程序。
3. iOS – 苹果操作系统:苹果公司的移动操作系统,运行于iPhone、iPad和iPod Touch等设备上。
4. Streaming service – 流媒体服务:用户可以在互联网上即时观看或听取音乐、视频或其他媒体内容的服务。

与该主题相关的链接:
苹果中国官网
欧盟反垄断规则官方网站