Apple hit with €1.8bn fine for breaking EU law over music streaming

iPhone maker subjected to first-ever Brussels fine as competition watchdogs step up scrutiny of Big Tech

The European Union has fined Apple €1.8 billion for stifling competition from rival music streaming services, the first time the iPhone maker has been punished for breaching EU law.

Margrethe Vestager, the bloc’s competition chief, said that for a decade the tech giant had broken EU antitrust rules by “restricting developers from informing consumers about alternative, cheaper music services available outside of the Apple ecosystem”.

She said this amounted to abuse of the group’s dominant position for music streaming on its App Store.

The €1.8 billion penalty is the third-biggest antitrust fine the European Commission has imposed.


Apple said it would appeal, signalling years of legal fights in EU courts. Apple employs 6,000 people in the Republic.

It said the commission had reached its decision despite failing to “uncover any credible evidence of consumer harm”, adding that Brussels’ reasoning “ignores the realities of a market that is thriving, competitive and growing fast”.

The commission began its investigation in 2019 after music streaming app Spotify launched a complaint accusing Apple of anti-competitive behaviour.

– Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2024