| 22 Sep 2023
European Commission examining Apple's music streaming plans

MUMBAI: Ahead of Apple’s launch of its very own music streaming service, regulators in Europe are examining the company’s dealings with several record labels and digital companies, reports the Financial Times. The inspection comes as a means to find out whether or not the tech giant is trying to unfairly limit rivals that offer free, ad supported services.

Citing those with knowledge on the matter, the FT reported that the European Commission is seeking details of the agreements between Apple and related parties. Reports state that a concern for the commission is that Apple could use its relationships, influence and size to persuade music labels to desert rival music services like Spotify, whose catalogues are solely dependent on licensing with music companies.

Despite the information requests put forth by the European Commission, it does not mean that a formal antitrust investigation will be launched against Apple. However, should the commission find any wrongdoing, it is authorised to impose hefty fines and impose changes to business practices.

Apple, along with Beats Music, is expected to launch a brand new music streaming service later this year, and will not be offering a free tier.

The scrutiny on Apple’s dealing come after the company was fined $450 million last year after allegedly conspiring to increase e-book prices with five publishers.