Apple to Let Music Streaming Apps in Europe Link to Own Websites for Purchases to Comply With EU Rules

Apple announced measures on Friday to make it easier for music streaming apps on its App Store in the European Economic Area to inform users of other ways to purchase digital services, as it looks to comply with a European Union mandate.

The announcement comes weeks after the iPhone maker was fined EUR 1.84 billion ($1.99 billion or roughly Rs. 16,575 crore) by the EU for thwarting competition from music streaming rivals via restrictions on its App Store.

The European Commission had said in March that Apple’s restrictions constituted unfair trading conditions and that it should stop such conduct.

Following a 2019 complaint by Swedish streaming service Spotify, the Commission charged Apple last year with preventing the Swedish company and others from informing users of payment options outside its App Store.

Apple on Friday said it would permit music streaming app developers to invite users to provide their email address for sending them a link to the developer’s website to purchase digital music content or services, and to inform them about where and how to purchase items as well as the price.

The company said that the announcement provides “even more” flexibility to music streaming service apps, including Spotify, which has 56 percent share of the European market.

Spotify did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple, however, said the Commission’s decision does not address its ability to charge a commission for all the tools, technologies and ongoing services it provides.

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