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Apple Appeals Big Penalty For Music Streaming Restrictions

Apple Appeals Big Penalty For Music Streaming Restrictions

Apple is contesting a 1.8 billion-euro ($1.9 billion) fine imposed by the European Union for obstructing access to information about cheaper music streaming services, according to a statement from an EU court on Tuesday.

The iPhone manufacturer lodged an appeal with the EU's General Court in Luxembourg on May 16, as confirmed by the court to AFP.

The European Commission, the EU's formidable competition watchdog, levied the fine against Apple in March following an extended investigation initiated in 2020 after a complaint by Swedish streaming giant Spotify.

This marked the first antitrust penalty imposed on Apple by Brussels. The commission accused Apple of preventing app developers from notifying iOS operating system users about more economical music subscription services available outside the App Store.

Apple had previously announced its intention to challenge the penalty.

The US tech titan declined to provide a comment but referred to its statement from March, in which it argued that EU regulators had not uncovered evidence of harm to consumers.

A spokesperson for the commission refrained from commenting on Apple's appeal but affirmed that Brussels is "prepared to defend all its decisions in court."

The fine represents just one aspect of the legal clash between the commission and Apple. The two entities have clashed in EU courts over a 13-billion-euro demand for Apple to reimburse Ireland in back taxes.

The case is presently before the bloc's highest court, where the commission is appealing a 2020 ruling that annulled the directive for Apple to repay the funds.

Additionally, tensions persist regarding the EU's new legal arsenal aimed at reining in major tech companies.

While Brussels contends that its Digital Markets Act (DMA) will promote fairer competition, Apple has criticized the legislation, warning that it could jeopardize user privacy and security.

The DMA targets global tech giants such as Apple, as well as other entities like Meta and Microsoft, imposing a set of obligations upon them.

In March, the commission initiated its inaugural investigation into Apple under the DMA.

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