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EC revises objections against Apple payment policies

By Josh White

Date: Tuesday 28 Feb 2023

EC revises objections against Apple payment policies

(Sharecast News) - The European Commission raised revised objections with consumer technology giant Apple on Tuesday, over concerns around its App Store rules for music streaming providers.
The step came after the EC's previous statement of objections, which outlined its preliminary view that Apple had abused its dominant position in the market.

Specifically, the commission raised two concerns, with the first being Apple's imposition of its own in-app purchase payment technology on music streaming app developers, known as the 'IAP obligation'.

The second concern was Apple's alleged restriction of app developers' ability to inform iPhone and iPad users of alternative music subscription services, known as the 'anti-steering obligations'.

In Tuesday's statement of objections, the EC clarified that it was no longer taking a position on the legality of the IAP obligation, but rather focussing on the contractual restrictions that Apple imposed on app developers.

Those restrictions prevent developers from informing iPhone and iPad users of alternative music subscription options at lower prices outside of the app, effectively choosing those options for them.

The European Commission said it had taken the preliminary view that Apple's anti-steering obligations were unfair trading conditions under EU regulations.

"In particular, the Commission is concerned that the anti-steering obligations imposed by Apple on music streaming app developers prevent those developers from informing consumers about where and how to subscribe to streaming services at lower prices," the statement read.

"These anti-steering obligations are neither necessary nor proportionate for the provision of the App Store on iPhones and iPads; are detrimental to users of music streaming services on Apple's mobile devices who may end up paying more; and negatively affect the interests of music streaming app developers by limiting effective consumer choice."

Apple previously defended its App Store policies, saying they were designed to protect user privacy and security.

However, critics have argued that the policies allow Apple too much control over the app market, and unfairly benefit the company's own services.

Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.


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