Apple accused of breaching EU law over App Store sales fees

  02 May 2021    Read: 2095
Apple accused of breaching EU law over App Store sales fees

Apple has been accused of breaking EU law by charging high fees and setting unfair rules on those selling their products in its App Store, resulting typically in a 30% price hike for paying customers.

Margrethe Vestager, the European commissioner for competition, said the preliminary view was that Apple had distorted competition in the music streaming market by abusing its dominant position and role as a “gatekeeper” to the 1.8m apps in its store.

The commissioner said it was unfair that developers had to pay up to 30% commission on sales and agree to tight rules if they wished to sell their apps on the world’s 1bn iPhones and 500m iPads.

“Apple charges a 30% commission fee for all purchases throughout its system,” Vestager said. “This means that music streaming providers cannot sell subscription on their apps without paying a 30% fee to Apple. Our investigation showed that this fee was passed on to end users by raising prices typically from €9.99 to €12.99.”

“A second concern is about the so-called anti-steering provisions,’” she added. “They limit the ability of app developers to inform iPad or iPhone users of alternative cheaper subscriptions, available elsewhere.

“In fact, to avoid paying the 30% commission, some music streaming providers decided to stop offering paid subscriptions in their apps. This is what Spotify decided to do in 2016. Since then, customers can download Spotify app in the Apple App Store, but they cannot purchase any subscription for Spotify premium services.”

The Guardian 

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