EU investigators say to speed up case against Apple with new charges

People familiar with the matter said EU antitrust regulators will step up their investigation into Apple, initiated by Spotify, with new evidence but not new allegations, in the hope expedite the case.

The European Commission last year told Iphone its maker App Store the rules require developers to use their own in-app payment systems and also prevent them from informing users of other purchase options, distorting competition in the streaming market music.

Apple found itself in the ranking of the European Commission after Spotify complained that the US tech company unfairly restricted rivals to its own music-streaming service Apple Music on iPhone.

The EU’s competition enforcement agency lays out its allegations in a so-called counter-statement or charge sheet.
A person familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier this year.

Such documents often introduce new charges or change the original charges.

Instead, the Commission is expected to send a letter of fact to Apple, other people familiar with the matter said, adding that a final decision has not yet been made.

Actual letters often contain new evidence supporting initial allegations against companies that can then be refuted with a written submission.

The committee declined to comment.

Apple, which risks fines of up to 10% of global revenue if found guilty of violating EU antitrust rules, did not respond to email and phone calls requests for comment.

The company has to hit with another EU antitrust charge in May related to their mobile payment system Pay for apple.

The alleged acts in both cases would be illegal under new EU technology rules, known as the Digital Markets Act, which will come into force next year with penalties as high as 10% a company’s global revenue.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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