Apple Eases App Store Restrictions for Music Streaming Apps in Europe to Comply with EU Mandate

This announcement is particularly significant in light of Apple's recent 1.84 billion euros ($1.99 billion) fine imposed by the EU.

Apple recently announced a policy change aimed at offering more flexibility to music streaming apps on its App Store within the European Economic Area.

This move is an effort to align with the European Union’s mandate concerning digital service purchases.

The tech giant’s decision allows music streaming apps to inform users about alternative purchasing methods outside of the App Store.

This announcement is particularly significant in light of Apple’s recent 1.84 billion euros ($1.99 billion) fine imposed by the EU.

The fine was a result of accusations that Apple’s App Store policies were undermining competition among music streaming services.

The EU’s criticisms followed a complaint by Spotify in 2019, leading to charges against Apple for restricting companies from directing users to payment options beyond its App Store.

In response to these charges and the EU’s directive to halt such practices, Apple is now allowing developers of music streaming apps to request users’ email addresses.

These addresses can be used to send links to the developer’s website, where users can purchase digital music content or services directly.

Moreover, developers can inform users about the purchase options, including where and how to buy items, as well as their prices.

Apple’s statement emphasized the additional flexibility this change brings to music streaming services, explicitly mentioning Spotify, which holds a 56% share of the European market.

While Spotify has yet to comment on this development, Apple highlighted that the European Commission’s decision does not address Apple’s right to levy commissions for the use of its tools, technologies, and services.

This ongoing provision of resources to developers remains a key aspect of Apple’s App Store ecosystem, underscoring the company’s efforts to comply with regulatory mandates while maintaining its service and support infrastructure for app developers.