EU regulators assess Apple's plan for complying with music streaming order

FILE PHOTO: European Commissioner for Europe fit for the Digital Age Margrethe Vestager speaks during an online news conference on Apple anti trust case at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium April 30, 2021. Francisco Seco/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -EU antitrust regulators are checking if an Apple proposal would comply with their order to let Spotify and other music streaming services inform users of payment options outside its App Store, the European Commission said on Monday.

The iPhone maker risks antitrust charges and fresh fines if its proposal announced last Friday fails to satisfy the EU competition enforcer, which issued its order together with a 1.84 billion euro ($2 billion) fine last month

Under Apple's proposal, the Swedish music streaming service Spotify and others can include a link to their websites to inform users of other ways to purchase digital goods or services, away from Apple's App Store.

They can also invite users to provide their email address to be sent a link to the platform's website to buy digital music content or services. Links which result in digital purchases, however, carry a 27% fee to Apple, including for subsequent auto-renewing subscriptions.

"We are currently assessing whether Apple has fully complied with the decision," a Commission spokesperson said.

"In general, if the Commission suspects that there is non-compliance with an adopted decision, it will send the undertaking concerned a Statement of Objections," the spokesperson added.

Apple's plan complies with the Commission decision, an Apple representative said.

Spotify bemoaned the fact that it was still waiting for Apple to comply with the EU order, five weeks on.

Separately, the Commission is also investigating Apple's rules for its App Store and measures it announced recently to comply with new EU legislation known as the Digital Markets Act on concerns that these and various charges may hinder developers from freely communicating and promoting their offers.

($1 = 0.9234 euros)

(Reporting by Foo Yun CheeEditing by Kevin Liffey and Aurora Ellis)

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