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European Union fines Apple €1.8 billion

Apple was fined 1.8 billion euros (R$ 9.6 billion) by the European Union on Monday (4), in a lawsuit filed by Spotify. Five years ago, the music streaming company challenged the validity of Apple’s practice, that well-known ban on lower-priced ads outside the App Store. This practice had already been considered illegal in the U.S., but even with the DMA in force on the European continent, there was still no decision on the case.

The Digital Market Act (DMA) aims to improve the user experience on virtual platforms and combat anti-competitive practices — but this law is unrelated to the case.

In its ruling on the case, the European Union cited that Apple’s practice harmed not only Spotify but other music streaming apps. The EU recalls that big tech is the only provider of app stores on iOS. With this, it controls the entire user experience in the operating system (hello, DMA).

The Bloc says its investigations have revealed that Apple prohibits streaming apps from disclosing other means of subscription and different prices outside of iOS. Nothing different from what the American justice considered illegal in the dispute between Epic and Apple.

The EU further points out that Apple has maintained this practice for almost ten years, which has led several users to pay more expensive prices due to the commissions charged by big tech.

Again citing a topic that is the focus of the DMA, the EU press release points out that this harmed the user experience, who had to perform a “laborious” search to pay less for a service or gave up paying for an app — and this ignoring that sometimes the user needed to go to the computer to hire a service for a lower price.

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