Apple hit with EU antitrust charge over App Store

The EU has accused Apple of distorting competition in the music streaming market.

On Friday (April 30) the European Commission said the tech giant was advantaging its own services.

Apple potentially faces huge fines, and major changes to its business practices.

Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the firm's polices left rivals with unpalatable options:

"Either they pay a fee of 30 percent on each subscription bought in the app store and raise their prices without being able to inform their users of cheaper offers, or they lose access to Apple device users for paid subscriptions."

The charge comes two years after Spotify complained that Apple had restricted access to its product in the App Store.

It marks the first time that Brussels has formally levelled charges against the Silicon Valley titan, though the two have had several bruising battles.

That includes a multibillion dollar dispute over Apple's tax payments in the EU.

Now Vestager says all app developers should be concerned:

"Because they depend on the music app store as a gatekeeper to access users of Apple IPhones and IPads and this significant market power cannot go unchecked. It cannot go unchecked as the condition of access to the Apple app store is key for the success of app developers."

Apple has rejected the new EU charge.

It says Spotify has become the world's largest streaming service, and says it's proud of its role in that.

Apple says the Swedish firm wants all the benefits of App Store, with none of the costs.