Market Watch

Apple Faces €500 Million Fine Over App Store Sales Practices

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European competition authorities are reportedly on the verge of imposing a €500 million penalty on tech giant Apple. This action stems from accusations tied to the company’s management of its iOS App Store, which is said to limit competition. The Financial Times brought this to light, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

The case traces back to a complaint by music streaming giant Spotify in 2019, which claimed Apple was preventing apps from promoting less expensive alternatives to services available through its App Store. Such actions, according to insiders, are seen as a misuse of Apple’s dominant position in the market, fostering unfair competition.

For years, the European Union has been tightening its grip on large technology firms, aiming to curb their extensive influence across Europe’s digital environment. Apple, along with other tech behemoths like Google and Meta, has faced scrutiny under this initiative, leading to significant financial penalties.

In addition to these probes, the EU has been pushing for more robust regulatory frameworks. A notable step in this direction is the introduction of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) in late 2022, designed to level the playing field for smaller entities by imposing stricter rules on major online platforms.

With a deadline looming for compliance with DMA regulations, significant industry players, including Apple, are initiating substantial operational changes. Last month, Apple announced adjustments to its iOS operating system in anticipation of these rules. However, the company has expressed concerns that some of these changes, such as app sideloading, might compromise user security and privacy.

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