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WSJ: European Commission to Investigate Apple After Spotify Complaints About Unfair Competition

The music service accused the company of charging commissions for in-app purchases and blocking updates.

The European Commission will begin an investigation against Apple after Spotify’s complaint about the manipulation in the App Store to create Apple Music advantages over its competitors. An investigation will be launched in the coming weeks. This was reported by The Wall Street Journal, citing three sources.

In the complaint, Spotify notes that Apple applies a number of technical limitations to the service. In particular, Apple has several times blocked updates to the Spotify app for the Apple Watch. Streaming service also complained about a commission of between 15 and 30%, which Apple charges on every purchase inside the app.

The publication noted that the investigation may take years. Representatives from Apple and Spotify did not comment on the situation. Engadget noted that if the European Commission decides in favor of the streaming service, it will seriously affect Apple: it is likely that companies will have to reduce the cost of the charged commission or allow applications to directly charge a subscription fee.

On March 13, Spotify filed a complaint with the European Commission because of Apple’s “bad faith” behavior. Two days later, Apple responded to the claims and said it does not block updates and takes a commission only for attracting those users who pay the subscription. The company believes that it is fair to take a fee because it provides a platform for downloading and updating the application, tools for developers and a secure payment system.

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