Apple fined nearly $2B

LONDON — The European Union leveled its first antitrust penalty against Apple on Monday, fining the U.S. tech giant nearly $2 billion for unfairly favoring its own music streaming service by forbidding rivals like Spotify from telling users how they could pay for cheaper subscriptions outside of iPhone apps.

Apple muzzled streaming services from telling users about payment options available through their websites, which would avoid the 30 percent fee charged when people pay through apps downloaded with the iOS App Store, said the European Commission, the 27-nation bloc’s executive arm and top antitrust enforcer.

“This is illegal. And it has impacted millions of European consumers who were not able to make a free choice as to where, how and at what price to buy music streaming subscriptions,” Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, said at a news conference in Brussels.

Apple — which contests the decision — behaved this way for a decade, resulting in “millions of people who have paid two, three euros more per month for their music streaming service than they would otherwise have had to pay,” she said. / AP


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