April 30 2021, European Union formally launched an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, the first time the European Union has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple.
On the same day, the European Commission’s antitrust chief, Jean-Yves Vestager, said EU antitrust regulators had launched an antitrust lawsuit against Apple for setting restrictive terms in its app store. The European Commission says Apple’s restrictions could distort competition for streaming music services on Apple devices.
Margaret Vestager, HEAD OF DIGITAL POLICY AND ANTITRUST AT THE EUROPEAN UNION: UNDER APPLE’S RULES FOR ITS APP STORE, STREAMING MUSIC PROVIDERS ACTUALLY HAVE ONLY TWO OPTIONS: EITHER RAISE THE PRICE OF SUBSCRIPTIONS WITHIN THE APPLE APP STORE AND PASS ON THE 30 PERCENT CHARGE APPLE CHARGES TO CONSUMERS, AND APPLE REFUSES TO LET USERS KNOW ABOUT CHEAPER APPS, OR STREAMING MUSIC PROVIDERS WILL LOSE PAYING USERS WHO USE APPLE PHONES.
It is the first time the European Union has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, which could result in fines of up to 10 percent of its global revenue, compared with $274.515 billion, or about 1776.9 billion yuan, in fiscal 2020. Apple’s shares closed down more than 1% on April 30th on the news.
Just this week, Apple reported its second-quarter results, many of which not only grew, but also exceeded analysts’ expectations. Last June, the European Commission announced an antitrust investigation into Apple’s App Store and Apple Pay.
Apple: The EU’s move is against fair competition
In response to an EU-sponsored antitrust lawsuit, Apple said the allegations were “contrary to fair competition.” In March 2019, Spotify, the streaming music service, filed an antitrust complaint against Apple, slamming the company for charging an “Apple tax” of 30 percent on its app store’s digital services, and for making it difficult for Spotify to offer discounts to users, hampering its business.