EU considering new evidence to speed up antitrust case against Apple

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Antitrust regulators in the European Union are reportedly planning to bolster their investigation of Apple with new evidence, though no new charges will be brought.

The European Commission in 2021 said that Apple was in violation of competition laws in the region because its App Store rules gave an unfair advantage to Apple Music.

Now, EU competition watchdogs are set out to submit new evidence in hopes of speeding up the case, Reuters reported Wednesday.

At the time, competition enforcers laid out its charges in a statement of objections. Earlier in 2022, authorities also considered sending a supplementary statement of objections, which could bring additional evidence to the case.

Now, sources tell Reuters that the Commission is expected to send a letter of facts to Apple instead. A letter of facts generally contains new evidence that reinforce the original charges. Companies are free to counter the new evidence with written submissions.

As this point, it isn't clear what new evidence the letter could contain, or how it will affect the investigation. Sources said that the decision to send the letter of facts in the first place has yet to be finalized.

Apple first came under serious antitrust scrutiny in the European Union after Spotify submitted a complaint alleging that the company unfairly restricted competitors to its own Apple Music streaming service.

Separately, the EU is also investigating Apple Pay. In May, it said that the Apple payment platform also broke antitrust laws.

The EU is also charging ahead with landmark legislation that would make many tactics said to be anticompetitive illegal under threat of massive fines.