The investigation will start in the next few weeks, looking into claims by Spotify of Apple "tilting the playing field to disadvantage competitors", according to a Financial Times report. But apps such as Uber do not have to pay this 30 percent fee.
Whether Apple will look to change its policy, despite believing that it's not int he wrong regarding Spotify's claims, in order to stop the investigation, remains to be seen.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek explained this approach towards subscription could lead to increased membership prices, a decision that would eventually impact its competition with Apple Music. "Apple connects Spotify to our users". Apple requires that Spotify and other digital services pay a 30% tax on purchases made through Apple's payment system, including upgrading from our Free to our Premium service. Over time, this has also included "locking Spotify and other competitors out of Apple services such as Siri, HomePod, and Apple Watch".
Spotify had in March filed an antitrust complaint against Apple in which it argued that the iPhone maker enforced App store rules that "purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience".
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"Spotify wouldn't be the business they are today without the App Store ecosystem, but now they're leveraging their scale to avoid contributing to maintaining that ecosystem for the next generation of app entrepreneurs", Apple wrote in a publicly posted statement. We share critical software development tools to support Spotify's app building.
While the investigation is likely to begin later this month, it's probably going to take a year or more to resolve, as The Verge notes.
Supposedly, EU enforcers have been successful in pushing companies to amend any business practices they consider illegitimate and fines could go as high as a 10th of their worldwide sales.
The EU is well known for taking on tech giants, fining Google €1.49 billion (US$1.67 billion) in March over antitrust violations in search ads.