Apple (AAPL.O) faces an additional antitrust charge from the EU in the coming weeks as part of an investigation sparked by a complaint from Spotify, a person familiar with the matter said, a sign that security forces EU order strengthen their case against American society.
Last year, the European Commission accused the iPhone maker of distorting competition in the music streaming market via restrictive rules for its App Store that force developers to use its own in-app payment system and prevent them from inform users of other purchase options.
These requirements have also come under scrutiny in countries like the United States and Britain.
Additional costs set out in a so-called Supplementary Statement of Objections are usually imposed on companies when the EU competition authority has gathered new evidence or changed certain elements to strengthen its case.
The Commission declined to comment. Apple had no immediate comment.
Under new EU technology rules called the Digital Markets Act (DMA) agreed last month, such practices are illegal. However, Apple and other US tech giants targeted by the rules will have a few years before the crackdown begins.
“The DMA is still two years away. The rules will likely apply to Apple in early 2024. That’s why antitrust cases remain important,” said attorney Damien Geradin of Geradin Partners, which advises several app developers in other cases against Apple.
Companies that breach EU antitrust rules face fines of up to 10% of their worldwide turnover and orders to stop anti-competitive practices.
In addition to the music streaming investigation, Apple’s practices in e-books and its Apple Pay are also in the EU antitrust crosshairs.
Sweden’s Spotify, the world’s largest music subscription service, is one of Europe’s great global success stories in consumer technology.