June 3, 2019 / 2:18 PM / a month ago

EU wants to hear from Apple over Spotify complaint

FILE PHOTO: The Spotify logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 3, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - EU regulators will decide what steps to take regarding Spotify’s complaint about Apple once they get a response from the iPhone maker, Europe’s antitrust chief said on Monday.

World No.1 music streaming service Spotify complained to the European Commission in March that Apple unfairly limits competitors to its Apple Music streaming service.

It also criticised Apple’s 30 percent fee levied on content-based service providers for using its in-app purchase system (IAP).

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said she was now seeking feedback from Apple and various quarters.

“We are looking into that and we have been asking questions around in that market but of course also Apple themselves, for them to answer the allegations. And when they come back, we will know more,” Vestager told reporters on the sidelines of an OECD conference.

Vestager, who three years ago ordered Apple to repay about 13 billion euros ($14.6 billion) in unfair tax incentives to Ireland, can levy hefty fines on companies for breaching EU antitrust rules and also order them to amend business practices.

Apple has accused Spotify of wanting to enjoy the benefits of a free app, without being free.

The Dutch competition watchdog is investigating Apple for allegedly favouring its own apps on its popular App Store.

($1 = 0.8927 euros)

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Mark Potter

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