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EU accuses Apple of antitrust breach over App Store rules

FILE - In this Tuesday, June 16, 2020 file photo, the sun is reflected on Apple's Fifth Avenue store in New York. In the years since Barack Obama and Joe Biden left the White House, the tech industry's political fortunes have flipped. Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple have come under scrutiny from Congress, federal regulators, state attorneys general and European authorities. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

LONDON (AP) — European Union regulators are accusing Apple of violating the bloc’s antitrust rules, alleging that the company distorts competition for music streaming through rules for its App Store.

The EU’s executive Commission said Friday it objected to Apple’s way of doing business, which it said ends up costing consumers more and limiting their choice.

The EU said it was concerned that Apple forces app developers selling digital content to use its in-house payment system, which charges a 30% commission on all subscriptions. Its investigation found that fees end up being passed on to consumers.

The investigation follows up on a complaint from the popular music-streaming service Spotify.

The EU also raised concerns that Apple prevents developers from telling users about cheaper payment methods.

“Our preliminary finding is that Apple is a gatekeeper to users of iPhones and iPads via the App Store,” the EU’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said in press release. “By setting strict rules on the App Store that disadvantage competing music streaming services, Apple deprives users of cheaper music streaming choices and distorts competition.”

Apple didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment.

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