Apple could face an EU competition charge sheet in the coming weeks after a complaint by rival Spotify that it unfairly pushed its own music streaming service, two people familiar with the matter have said.
The European Commission could send the statement of objections setting out suspected violations of the bloc's antitrust rules to Apple before the summer, one of the people said.
The case is one of four opened by the EU competition enforcer against Apple in June last year. The EU charge sheet usually indicates whether a fine is merited and what companies have to do to halt anti-competitive practices.
The Commission declined to comment.
Apple referred to its March 2019 blog which said its App Store helped Spotify to benefit from hundreds of millions of app downloads to become Europe's largest music streaming service.
Spotify in its 2019 complaint to the Commission said Apple unfairly restricts rivals to its own music steaming service Apple Music and also protested against the 30% fee levied on app developers to use Apple's in-app purchase system.
In addition to the Spotify case, the Commission is also investigating Apple's App Stores rules for all competing apps,for e-books and audio books as well as its terms and conditions for its mobile payment service Apple Pay.
It comes after the UK competition regulator said today it has opened an investigation into Apple after complaints that the iPhone maker's terms and conditions for app developers are unfair and anti-competitive.
The probe will consider if Apple has a dominant position in the distribution of apps on its devices in the UK, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said.
Payment policies related to Apple's App Store have for long drawn complaints from app developers. It charges a commission of up to 30% from developers on the value of transactions or any time a consumer buys their app.
The iPhone maker said it will work with the regulator.
"The App Store has been an engine of success for app developers, in part because of the rigorous standards we have in place - applied fairly and equally to all developers - to protect customers from malware and to prevent rampant data collection without their consent," Apple said in a statement.
The company is also being investigated on similar grounds by the Dutch competition authorities, who are nearing a draft decision, Reuters reported last month.
Last year, the European Commission also opened a probe into the iPhone maker over App Store commission fee.
"Complaints that Apple is using its market position to set terms which are unfair or may restrict competition and choice - potentially causing customers to lose out when buying and using apps - warrant careful scrutiny," the CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said.