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Parliamentary questions
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15 November 2019
E-002996/2019(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Vestager
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-002996/2019

In March 2019 the Commission received a complaint from Spotify AB alleging that Apple Inc. as the owner of the App Store uses contractual terms vis-à-vis app developers in order to restrict the ability of competing music streaming app providers such as Spotify to compete with Apple Music on Apple iPhones .

The Commission has given Apple the opportunity to comment on the complaint and is now looking in detail into the merits of the complaint. However, the Commission cannot comment further on ongoing antitrust investigations.

Beyond this specific competition investigation involving Apple, new rules on fairness and transparency for business users of online platforms will apply as of 12 July 2020(1). Under these rules, all online platforms, including Apple’s App Store, will have to include a description of any differentiated treatment on their platforms of their own services in comparison to those of third parties.

This description will have to set out the main economic, commercial or legal considerations for such differentiated treatment. The resulting transparency could help spur platform competition and the Commission will closely monitor relevant developments, including through the Observatory on the Online Platform Economy.

(1)Regulation (EU) 2019/1150, OJ L.
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