News Media Europe

European Commission sends Statement of Objections to Apple following Spotify complaint

Press releases , April 30, 2021


-Brussels, 30 April 2021-

News Media Europe applauds the European Commission’s decision to send Apple a Statement of Objections, following a complaint introduced by Spotify in 2019. Like Spotify, European news publishers suffer from Apple’s anti-competitive commercial practices.

The news media industry in Europe has serious concerns over Apple’s behaviour in the online marketplace and expresses the hope that the formal probe will guide Apple in applying fair and reasonable business terms on its app store and iOS platform, with the recognition that Apple’s dominant market position also comes with special responsibilities.

Wout van Wijk, Executive Director at News Media Europe, commented: “The European Commission’s Statement of Objections validates our long-held beliefs of just how harmful some of Apple’s commercial practices are for the digital economy. The stakes for consumers and businesses couldn’t be higher and we are greatly encouraged by this development. We hope other tech giants can draw lessons from this case”.

Within the iOS environment, Apple owns the customer relationship and data of consumers of news content, even if they use the apps of news publishers. In doing so, Apple undermines the investments made by news publishers in the production of journalistic content and the direct relationship between news readers and their favourite news brands.

We hope the Commission’s action will prevent other anti-competitive practices of concern, including when it comes to self-preferencing, excessive pricing, transparency, and other forms of marketing restrictions. Going forward, the Spotify-Apple case should set a key precedent for anti-trust enforcement in digital markets and inform discussions on the Digital Markets Act.

News Media Europe will continue to closely monitor the case.

About News Media Europe:

News Media Europe (NME) represents the progressive news media industry in Europe – over 2,500 European news brands in print and online, radio and TV. NME is committed to maintaining and promoting the freedom of the press, to upholding and enhancing the freedom to publish, and to championing the news brands which are one of the most vital parts of Europe’s creative industries.

For further information please contact:

Wout van Wijk (Executive Director):

Tw: @NewsmediaEU