European consumer lobbying group backs EU's Apple Music antitrust case

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The European Commission is to allow a consumer group to contribute to its continuing antitrust investigation into Apple Music.

The European Commission has given Apple three months to respond to its finding that the company is in breach of EU competition law with Apple Music. In the meantime, the commission has now formally recognized the Bureau Europeen des Unions de Consommateurs (BEUC), a consumer lobbying group, as an interested party.

"We look forward to working with the Commission to ensure that Europe's consumers have access to a full range of music streaming services without their choices being unfairly restricted or prices being artificially inflated," said Monique Goyens, Director General of the BEUC, in a statement.

The BEUC represents 46 independent consumer organizations from 32 countries. It says its main role is to represent these organizations to the EU "and defend the interests of European consumers."

Being formally recognized as an interested third party means that the BEUC will be able to contribute consumer feedback to the investigation.

Analysts have claimed that the EU's "bark is a lot worse than the bite," in that there are unlikely to be large-scale repercussions for Apple and Apple Music.

However, although the EU is waiting for Apple's response to its preliminary report, those findings do say that Apple has infringed Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. That specifically prohibits the abuse of a dominant market position.

Apple has not responded to the EU's recognition of the BEUC, but does disagree with the commission's findings.

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