Apple reportedly cleared in European streaming-music probe

Apple appears to have dodged a regulatory bullet in Europe, where an investigation has reportedly found no evidence that the Cupertino tech giant conspired with music labels against free music-streaming services.

ReCode reports that the European Commission sent questionnaires to several major record labels seeking information about their dealings with Apple, but failed to find evidence of illegal efforts to stifle free, ad-supported streaming tiers such as what Spotify offers. The report said regulators will continue to monitor the situation as Spotify renews its licensing contracts with the labels.

Apple is not out of the woods yet. It faces similar allegations by consumer groups in the U.S., and the Federal Trade Commission is reportedly considering a probe into whether the way it treats rival streaming-music apps in its App Store is illegal under antitrust rules. Apple places numerous restrictions on third-party apps and takes a 30 percent cut of in-app purchases, leading companies to either charge more for apps or lose profits.

You can either raise your prices and not be competitive with Apple’s price, or you can have no margin,” Tyler Goldman, CEO of the streaming service Deezer, told Reuters in July.

 

At top: An advertisement for Apple Music is posted on the streets of Manhattan on Aug. 7, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

 

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