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  • FTC Reportedly Looking Into Apple's Rules for Streaming Music Rivals in the App Store

    The US Federal Trade Commission is studying claims that the iOS App Store policy is illegally stifling competition in the music streaming market, putting Apple’s content and media operations under scrutiny once again. Reuters, citing three industry sources, reports that government officials are looking at the effect that Apple’s usual 30% cut of App Store sales exerts over the streaming music industry, which the company is now a part of with Apple music. Another concern is that App Store rules restrict companies from advertising billing services outside of iTunes and product availability on other platforms.

    No formal investigation has opened into the matter but the FTC is meeting with interested parties according to sources. With the launch of Apple Music though in June, Apple quickly became a rival to the multitude of existing streaming companies that rely on the App Store and iOS itself to help survive. Competition usually keeps the price of many subscription services, including Apple Music itself, to an unofficial $9.99 per month standard. Allegations are claiming that Apple’s 30% cut forces rivals to choose between raising prices for iOS users or absorb the profit loss as an overhead expenditure.

    Spotify recently began sending out emails encouraging iOS subscribers to convert their accounts to Web-based billing stating that monthly charges would drop from $12.99 to $9.99 per month by doing it that way. Spotify charges users who signed up through iOS an additional $3/month to account for the 30% in-app purchase fee that Apple charges.

    Apple seems to be in a sticky situation as both the owner of one of the world’s two dominant mobile device platforms and operator of a service in direct competition with companies selling products through its platform. Apple Music appears to be a primetime target for an antitrust investigation, as evidenced by multiple government inquiries relating to Apple’s streaming efforts.

    We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

    Source: Reuters
    This article was originally published in forum thread: FTC Reportedly Looking Into Apple's Rules for Streaming Music Rivals in the App Store started by Akshay Masand View original post