It appears that after four long years, EU Commission is near closing Spotify’s complaint against Apple with a similar ruling in the Epic Games case in the United States over permitting external links on iOS.
In 2019, Spotify filed a case against Apple in the EU accusing it of unfairly charging a 30% App Store commission for all in-app purchases which lead to increased prices of in-app purchases and puts consumers at a disadvantage. The Swedish audio streamer also sought the EU to permit external subscription links on iOS to give consumers a choice.
During the course of its investigation, the EU formally charged Apple for anti-competitive practice but the exact nature of the charges was never disclosed.
EU might order Apple to allow external subscription links like the Epic Games case
Financial Times reports that the EU is expected to reach a compromise to resolve the Spotify vs. Apple case. The antitrust regulatory body has now narrowed down the investigation to a single issue of permitting the inclusion of an external subscription link on the Spotify app for iOS and not penalizing the Cupertino tech company for charging a 30% commission for the in-app purchases made through its App Store.
The Cupertino tech giant received the same judgment in the Epic Games case in 2021 where the App Store commission for in-app purchases was given a green signal but its anti-steering policy was found anti-competitive.
Delighted with the shift in the EU’s investigation, Apple told 9to5Mac that;
Apple will continue to work with the European Commission to understand and respond to their concerns, all the while promoting competition and choice for European consumers. We’re pleased that the Commission has narrowed its case and is no longer challenging Apple’s right to collect a commission for digital goods and require the use of the In-App Payment systems users trust. The App Store has helped Spotify become the top music streaming service across Europe and we hope the European Commission will end its pursuit of a complaint that has no merit.