No evidence of collusion found in European Apple Music probe
EC will reportedly move on to App Store treatment of streaming rivals
European competition regulators have been unable to find evidence of wrongdoing by Apple as part of an investigation into the Cupertino company's music streaming service, online media reported.
The European Commission launched the investigation in April, two months before the June launch of Apple Music. The commission sent out questionnaires to record companies asking them to give details of their deals with Apple.
Although no evidence of collusion was apparent, tech site Re/code cited sources who said EU watchdogs would be keeping tabs on what happens in the music streaming sector. Next, they will be asking rival streamers about the restrictions placed on them by Apple through the App Store. In the US, the Federal Trade Commission is conducting the same investigation.
Spotify, Rhapsody, Jango and others provide similar services to Apple Music and are available for download through the App Store. Apple charges 30% of in-app revenues for any product downloaded from its store. But its rivals argue that they are left with a choice of settling for an erosion of their profit margins or charging more for their services, which would make them less competitive than Apple Music's $9.99 monthly fee.
App Store restrictions include bans on linking to app-providers' websites or informing customers that services can be purchased through those websites. If customers of streaming services made their subscription purchases through provider's websites Apple would not be due the 30% fee, which only applies to in-app purchases.