Connect with us

News

E.U. Slaps Apple with $2 Billion Fine for Anti-Competitive Behavior on App Store

Apple has been slapped with a massive fine of 1.8 billion euros ($1.95 billion) by European Union regulators, marking a significant blow to the tech giant for its anticompetitive practices in the music streaming industry. The penalty, announced by the E.U. antitrust regulator, comes after a five-year investigation sparked by complaints from Spotify, one of Apple’s biggest rivals. Regulators found that Apple had been using its dominant position in the App Store to unfairly block out competition from other music streaming services.

Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission executive vice president in charge of competition policy, stated, “For a decade, Apple abused its dominant position in the market for the distribution of music streaming apps through the App Store.” She emphasized that Apple will now be required to allow music streaming developers to communicate freely with their users. The hefty fine reflects the financial power of Apple and the harm inflicted on millions of European users.

The E.U.’s action against Apple is part of a larger trend of regulatory scrutiny over the App Store. Apple’s requirement for apps to use its in-app payment service, which carries a commission of up to 30 percent on each transaction, has been a point of contention for many developers. The Netherlands and South Korea have already taken steps to push back against Apple’s practices, with laws and orders to allow alternative payment services.

Apple has stated its intent to appeal the ruling, arguing that the decision is not supported by the facts. Additionally, Apple has defended its actions by pointing out that Spotify has benefited from Apple’s tools and services without paying any commissions.

The fine against Apple underscores the E.U.’s position as a stringent regulator of the tech industry. In recent years, the bloc has introduced laws and regulations on various tech-related matters, including data privacy, competition, content moderation, and artificial intelligence. Apple’s penalty is one of the most severe since 2016, when the company was ordered to pay €13 billion in unpaid taxes to Ireland.

Apple’s latest quarter saw revenue of approximately $120 billion and a net profit of $34 billion, highlighting its financial strength despite the regulatory challenges.

Spotify has been a vocal critic of Apple’s App Store policies, particularly the in-app payment system and the 30 percent commission. The rules have hindered Spotify’s expansion into new services like audiobooks, as the company has had to navigate ways to avoid Apple’s fees.

Apple has defended its position by arguing that Spotify receives numerous benefits from its relationship with Apple, including software tools and hardware improvements, without paying the necessary commissions. The ongoing battle between Apple and Spotify highlights the broader issues surrounding competition in the tech industry.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Forest Lawn Drive now free of RV encampment and parking

Nancy Sexton was thrilled when city crews cleared out more than 50 RVs in December that had been parked near her business for months, blocking parking spots and leaving behind trash and waste on Forest Lawn Drive.

Then she realized the long stretch of road near Barham Boulevard in the Hollywood Hills was suddenly off limits for not just parked RVs, but all parked vehicles. Much of the curb was painted red. No parking signs lined the sidewalk.

“It’s a dumb decision,” said Sexton, who owns the Muse Rooms, which offers leased office spaces. “It’s frustrating.”

The more than 50 RVs, which had been stationed along the winding road for months as a semi-permanent living encampment, were removed in December as part of the city’s operation known as Inside Safe. One goal of the program, which is part of Mayor Karen Bass’ initiative to bring people living on the streets indoors, is to end the cycle of homeless encampments being cleared by the city only to return a few weeks later.

But days after the RVs were removed, Sexton said, the curb was painted red and parking was limited. The new red zone is about a quarter mile long, running between Warner Bros. Studios’ Gate 9 entrance and North Coyote Canyon Drive.

The areas that do allow parking, meanwhile, have two-hour limits.

City officials also said the decision to restrict parking was done out of fire safety concerns, not to keep the RVs from resettling along the road. Sexton has her doubts.

The lack of parking along the street suddenly imposed a new, unexpected expense on her clients, prompting some to look elsewhere. The red curb has also become an irritation for some students and workers at the New York Film Academy and businesses nearby.

A road with RVs lining its right side.

RVs are parked on Forest Lawn Drive on June 27, 2023, in Burbank.

(David McNew/Getty Images)

Since the no-parking signs went up, Sexton said, she’s lost two regular members and two potential clients. All of them had aired concern about the lack of street parking and the added expense of paying $12 a day at the parking structure on site.

The parking fee, Sexton said, doubled the monthly costs for some members.

“I didn’t know how much of a problem it was going to be until there were people saying, ‘I can’t pay $12 a day,’ ” she said. “I’m really feeling it now.”

The situation highlights some of the unintended results as city officials look to address homelessness and the concerns of businesses and homeowners affected by makeshift encampments, whether they involve tents, vehicles, or both.

RV encampments have sprung up across the city amid a housing crisis that has left many people priced out of permanent homes. Local officials have looked for ways to address the issue, including new regulations that have targeted overnight RV parking.

According to the mayor’s office, the Inside Safe program has addressed 39 encampments so far, moving more than 2,400 people into interim housing and an additional 440 into permanent housing since December 2022.

Bass spokesperson Zach Seidl said the RVs that were removed from Forest Lawn Drive were themselves causing parking issues in the area, as well as raising other significant safety and public health concerns.

Members of the surrounding community have said removing the RVs “has helped on all three fronts,” Seidl said in a statement. “This operation has saved lives.

Stella Stahl, spokesperson for Councilmember Nithya Raman, said the city has helped many of the RV residents along Forest Lawn Drive to find housing indoors.

In a statement, Stahl credited the decision to limit parking to a request by the Los Angeles Fire Department, which called the area a “high fire severity zone.” A 2019 brush fire in the area burned more than 30 acres and threatened homes and businesses.

In a Sept. 19, 2023, letter, LAFD Assistant Chief Dean Zipperman asked the city Department of Transportation to install “Tow Away No Stopping Any Time” restrictions on the road due to the stopped and parked vehicles there.

To avoid the hassle of looking for parking, cinematography students Sanchin Vinay, Yifan Xiang, and Davide Picci carpool to their classes at the New York Film Academy, which shares a building with the Muse Rooms. Eliminating the RVs has opened some spots to them, although Picci said they’d been able to find spaces on the street before — “really far down.”

A couch on a sidewalk near an RV.

The curb along Forest Lawn Drive, where someone has left a couch.

(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

Sometimes they pay the $12 for the daily parking to avoid being late for class. Carpooling helps cushion the cost.

Leslie Bates, a film production instructor, said she heard of students and faculty members having “volatile” interactions with the RV residents.

Now that the RVs have

Continue Reading

Featured

News18 hours ago

Forest Lawn Drive now free of RV encampment and parking

Nancy Sexton was thrilled when city crews cleared out more than 50 RVs in December that had been parked near...

News20 hours ago

Alaska Ambler Road Project Denied by Interior Department

The decision by the Interior Department to reject the Ambler Road Project in Alaska is a significant win for environmentalists...

News21 hours ago

House speaker receives additional request from GOP member to resign or be ousted

House Speaker Faces New Call by Another Republican to Step Down or Face Removal House Speaker Johnson says he’s not...

News22 hours ago

NASA is reevaluating the Mars Sample Return Mission as current plans face setbacks

Spaceflight is not the easiest of enterprises, and NASA has recently announced a change in plans for the Mars Sample...

News24 hours ago

View Park-Windsor Hills experiences a 2.8 magnitude earthquake

On Tuesday at 8:19 a.m. Pacific time, a magnitude 2.8 earthquake rattled the View Park-Windsor Hills neighborhood in Los Angeles,...

News1 day ago

Some Rioters Already Freed as Supreme Court Reviews Jan. 6 Charge

Follow live coverage of the Jan. 6 obstruction case at the Supreme Court. The review of an obstruction law by...

Entertainment1 day ago

Caitlin Clark’s Prada ensemble at WNBA draft impressed boyfriend Connor McCaffery

Caitlin Clark made a statement at the 2024 WNBA Draft that went beyond her incredible basketball skills. The young athlete,...

News1 day ago

Renowned Physicist Peter Higgs Passes Away at 94

It is with a heavy heart that we report the passing of Professor Peter Higgs at the age of 94....

News1 day ago

Judge rules that Los Angeles officials manipulated records during homeless camp cleanups

A federal judge has found that Los Angeles city officials altered evidence to support the city’s defense against allegations that...

News1 day ago

Fire Causes Partial Collapse of Historic Old Stock Exchange Building in Copenhagen

Copenhagen’s Old Stock Exchange Building, also known as Borsen, is a historic landmark in the city that has stood for...

Advertisement

Facebook

Trending