ANTITRUST | The EU Commission fines Apple for an alleged abuse of dominant position

On 7 March 2024, the European Commission (“EC”) imposed a 1.8 million Euro fine on Apple Inc. (“Apple”) for an alleged abuse of its dominant position on the market, in breach of Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”), for the distribution of music streaming apps to iOS users through its App Store (“Decision”). The Decision followed an investigation initiated in June 2020, prompted by the complaint filed by Spotify to the EC on the competitive impact of the anti-steering provisions (“Conduct”) contained in Apple’s terms and conditions regarding the distribution of apps to iOS users through the App Store. According to the EC, the Conduct prevented app developers from informing their users about the possibility of purchasing and/or subscribing to alternative and cheaper services beyond those provided by Apple. Moreover, the EC stated that such commercial provisions would be neither proportionate nor necessary to protect Apple’s business interests in relation to the App Store on Apple’s smart mobile devices and would also affect the interests of iOS users. On this point, Apple has announced its intention to challenge the Decision.

Newsletter n. 94 – March 2024