EU regulators will reportedly fine Apple more than $500 million in antitrust probe

European regulators are reportedly poised to slap Apple Inc. with a fine of more than $500 million, saying the tech giant has unfairly hampered its music streaming rivals.

The Financial Times and Bloomberg News reported Sunday that European Commission antitrust regulators are preparing to impose a fine of around 500 million euros ($539 million) against Apple AAPL,
after it was found to have created an anti-competitive environment by failing to inform iPhone users that alternative, cheaper music streaming apps were available outside of its App Store.

The investigation was triggered by a complaint that Spotify SA SPOT,
filed in 2019. While EU regulators have previously imposed large antitrust fines against big tech companies like Google’s Alphabet GOOGL,

and Microsoft Corp. MSFT,
has never levied an antitrust fine against Apple.

The FT reported that the fine is expected to be announced in early March.

Apple declined to comment on Sunday, but referred to an earlier statement, which said: “The App Store has helped Spotify become the leading music streaming service across Europe and we hope the European Commission will put an end to the pursuit of a meritless complaint.”

Meanwhile, the FT and Bloomberg also reported that the European Commission is close to accepting a settlement from Apple in a separate antitrust case, over its Apple Pay system.

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