The EU may soon fine Apple 500 million euros for violating antitrust laws. The relevant decision will be announced by the European Commission in early March. This will be the first such penalty by the EU, but not the first for Apple – in 2020, France already fined the Apple corporation for anti-competitive behavior; Initially, the amount of recovery was astronomical – 1.1 billion euros, but after an appeal, it was reduced to 372 million euros.

This time, the basis for the start of the investigation was the complaint of the Swedish company Spotify Technology, filed back in 2019. It said that streaming service Spotify had to raise the prices of its monthly subscription because Apple did not allow iPhone apps to inform users about cheaper alternatives to Apple Music.

Apple has tried to settle these claims and, since the beginning of 2022, has allowed Spotify and other music services to redirect users of their apps to their web pages for subscriptions. However, Spotify said that the restrictions still exist, and the changes announced by Apple were “just for show.” Considering the 30% commission that Apple charges for subscriptions through the App Store, this is very similar to the truth. The European Commission came to the same conclusion, finding Apple guilty of violating competition rules. So the company will pay a fine, and EU residents (but only them) will soon be able to install applications on iPhones, bypassing the App Store. The changes are coming in iOS 17.4.

The EU’s Digital Markets Law, which will come into full force in March 2024, prohibits tech giants from restricting user access to competitive services. And not only the whales of digital business, such as Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta and Microsoft, but also adult services Pornhub, Stripchat and XVideos will be under increased EU control – because their monthly audience is more than 45 million users. Sex sells, but from now on it must be done according to the rules of fair competition.

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