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Apple is battling a $2 billion EU fine over App Store practices

The company claims the bloc didn't provide 'credible evidence of consumer harm' after a Spotify-prompted probe.

Reuters / Reuters

Apple has formally challenged a €1.8 billion ($1.95 billion) antitrust fine issued by the European Union, according to a report. The bloc handed down the penalty in March after determining that Apple had constrained competing music streaming services on the App Store following a 2019 complaint from Spotify.

At the time, Apple pledged to appeal the decision, arguing that the EU failed to "uncover any credible evidence of consumer harm." Bloomberg reports that Apple has now filed a suit in an attempt to overturn the ruling.

Along with the fine, the EU instructed Apple to stop blocking rival music-streaming platforms from telling users that they could sign up for their services at a lower cost away from the App Store. Spotify claimed it had to increase subscription prices to cover costs related to how Apple runs the App Store. That's despite Spotify not making it possible to upgrade to Premium directly through its iOS app — doing so would mean having to fork over a commission to Apple. For its part, Apple maintains that Spotify doesn't pay it anything, even though the latter taps into its APIs, beta testing tools and more.

Spotify's complaint predated the Digital Markets Act coming into force. That law stops defined gatekeepers — including Apple and Play Store operator Google — banning developers from telling users about cheaper ways to pay for their products outside of their app marketplaces. The EU is currently investigating both companies over their compliance with that aspect of the law.