Apple grants European music streaming apps ability to directly link to their websites for purchases

In a bid to comply with a recent European Union mandate, Apple, on Friday, unveiled new measures aimed at facilitating easier access for music streaming apps on its App Store in the European Economic Area. The move allows these apps to inform users about alternative methods for purchasing digital services, marking a significant shift in Apple’s policies within the region.

The development follows closely on the heels of a hefty fine imposed on Apple by the EU, totaling €1.8 billion. The fine stemmed from allegations of Apple impeding competition from music streaming rivals through stringent restrictions imposed on its App Store. In March, the European Commission deemed Apple’s actions as constituting unfair trading conditions and demanded that such practices cease.

The genesis of this conflict traces back to a complaint lodged in 2019 by Spotify. The Commission, prompted by Spotify’s grievance, initiated charges against Apple last year, citing its obstruction of Spotify and other similar services from informing users about payment alternatives beyond the confines of its App Store.

In response to these regulatory pressures, Apple’s recent announcement signals a pivotal concession. The tech giant has agreed to allow developers of music streaming apps to prompt users to provide their email addresses. This would enable developers to send users links to their websites, where they can purchase digital music content or services. Furthermore, developers are now permitted to inform users about the availability, locations, and pricing of these items.

This newfound flexibility is poised to benefit various music streaming services, notably Spotify, which currently commands a significant 56% share of the European market. However, Spotify refrained from immediate comment on Apple’s latest move, indicating a cautious approach to the developments.

Written by Maya Robertson


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