In a landmark move, Spotify sued Apple in the European Union for alleged anti-competitive practices, although Apple was fined a hefty €1.84 billion. This legal saga has exposed the complexity of competition in the digital marketplace and raised serious concerns about fair play and market dominance.


The conflict between Spotify and Apple stems from Spotify’s accusations that Apple unfairly favors its services, such as Apple Music, over competitors such as Spotify. This preferential treatment includes imposing a 30% fee on Spotify subscriptions through the App Store, while exempting its services from such fees. This discrepancy fueled Spotify’s displeasure and led to litigation in the EU.

After an investigation into the case, the EU fined Apple 1.84 billion euros for violating antitrust rules in the market for music streaming services on the iOS mobile platform. The fine is aimed at Apple’s implementation of an “anti-launch clause”. This clause prevents app developers from providing users with information about alternative and cheaper music subscription services outside of their App Store.

The fine stems from an antitrust complaint filed by Spotify in March 2019. Spotify said Apple’s App Store rules “deliberately limit choice, stifle innovation and at the expense of user experience.” He also accused Apple of being “both an athlete and a judge” that deliberately puts other app developers at a disadvantage.

Back in June 2020, the European Union announced an official antitrust investigation into the App Store. At the time, the EU expressed concern that the conditions and restrictions imposed by Apple could distort competition. For example, the “anti-targeting clause” prevents developers from informing users that there are more mobile apps outside the Apple Store with cheaper payment methods.

In April 2021, the European Commission formally stated objections, accusing Apple of distorting competition in the market for music streaming services by managing the App Store. Three years later, the EU confirmed that Apple had violated antitrust rules and fined the company

Spotify Offline Mix

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said:

Gizchina News of the week

“For a decade, Apple has abused its market dominance in distributing music streaming apps through the App Store. They have restricted developers from telling users outside of Apple’s ecosystem alternative, cheaper music services to do just that.

Spotify is once again pulling Apple in the EU

Spotify recently sent a a letter to the European Commission. In his letter, he accuses Apple of refusing to update its Spotify app. It also accuses Apple’s App Store of failing to implement and comply with EU regulatory requirements.

The European Commission ruled on March 4 that Apple abused its market dominance by preventing music streaming services from informing users about in-app purchases and more affordable subscription prices. This decision resulted in €1.84 billion in fines.

Apple was asked to remove “anti-launch clauses” within the European Union, and Spotify sent an app update on March 5 that includes subscription pricing tiers and a payment option without in-app purchases. Spotify said Apple has not responded since sending the update.

Spotify told the European Commission that Apple deliberately delayed the time so that it could have more time to consider countermeasures and try to avoid and not comply with the European Commission’s decision. The company wants the European Commission to require Apple to approve app updates.

Spotify web and mobile playlists

Legal implications and challenges

The legal environment surrounding tech giants like Apple and Spotify is complex. After the initial fine, Spotify had to drag Apple back into the EU. In the foreground are the problems of antitrust legislation, market dominance and compliance with regulatory requirements. The challenges facing both companies reflect broader concerns about monopoly practices, consumer choice and the role of law in regulating digital markets.


The clash between Spotify and Apple in the EU highlights the evolving dynamics of competition in the digital age. With Spotify’s bold move to challenge Apple’s practices despite a huge fine imposed by the EU, the tech industry is witnessing a pivotal moment that could change the way companies operate within digital markets. Moreover, as this legal saga unfolds, it raises critical questions about justice, regulation, and the balance of power in an increasingly interconnected world.

Rebuttal: We may be compensated by some of the companies whose products we talk about, but our articles and reviews are always our honest opinions. For more details, you can view our editorial guidelines and learn how we use affiliate links.

Spotify drags Apple to the EU for failing to comply despite the 1.84 billion euros fine