The European Commission is already taking a good hard look Apple’s long rumored but as of yet, unannounced, music streaming service on anti-trust grounds. Regulators are concerned that Apple could use its sheer size, influence, and relationships to push record labels to abandon rivaled streaming services, like Spotify.
The Financial Times (Via The Inquirer), reports that the EU is taking a closer look at Apple’s dealings with music labels, to see whether the firm is unfairly limiting the success of services like Spotify, which offers a free tier supported by ads.
Image Source: 9to5Mac
The EU Commission usually launches these anti-trust investigations when a complaint is received, right now, this isn’t an ‘official investigation’ but rather, a probe to gather information ahead of time.
If the EU Commission does find that Apple has been using its relationships to get labels to abandon rival services, then it could require Apple to change how it is doing business or impose fines on the company.
The service is going to be built on Apple’s acquisition of Beats Music, which cost the company $3 billion. Speculation suggests that Apple’s streaming service will attempt to undercut rivals with a $7.99 a month subscription, while other services usually come in at $9.99.
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KitGuru Says: Apple hasn’t formally announced its streaming service just yet but it has been expected for a while. An announcement is supposedly due this June, although with the EU Commission already sniffing around, Apple may have to rethink its plans for a European launch should they find any dirt.