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Eurobites: Spotify wants UK to stop Apple's 'outrageous' transaction charges

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: EU wants feedback on proposed Apple Pay tweaks; Nokia and e& claim cloud RAN breakthrough; what Openreach engineers want for their tea break.

Paul Rainford

January 19, 2024

2 Min Read
Spotify logo on smartphone
(Source: GK Images/Alamy Stock Photo)
  • Sweden-based Spotify has attacked new app-developer transaction fees launched in the US by Apple and is urging the UK government to ensure that a new law currently going through parliament prevents them from being implemented in Britain. As the BBC reports, Apple has introduced rules in the US which allow app developers to encourage users – via links, for example – to buy their digital services in places other than Apple's App Store, but it is still imposing a 27% commission on transactions made outside its "walled garden." Spotify described the new charges as "outrageous" and is now urging the UK government to ensure forthcoming legislation prevents Apple from implementing similar fees in Britain. Spotify, of course, has itself faced flak from countless performers who feel massively shortchanged when it comes to earning royalties on music streamed on the hugely popular platform.

  • In related matters, the European Commission is inviting feedback on commitments offered by Apple to address competition concerns over practices related to the Apple Pay platform. Almost two years ago the Commission told Apple that it believed the company's "exclusionary conduct" in relation to Apple Pay could be in breach of EU regulations; in response, Apple has, among other things, promised to allow third-party mobile wallet and payment service providers to access, through a set of application programming interfaces (APIs), the NFC functionality on iOS devices free of charge, without having to use Apple Pay or Apple Wallet. If the consultation concludes that Apple's commitments address the competition concerns, the Commission may make them legally binding on Apple.

  • Nokia and Dubai-based operator e& have completed what they claim is the first trial of cloud RAN in the MEA region using inline acceleration technology over HPE's ProLiant DL110 Gen11 server. The trial used e&'s existing midband carrier in the n78 (3.5GHz) band over its 5G standalone network.

  • Google is planning to build a new, $1 billion data center in Waltham Cross, a few miles north of London. As City AM reports, the facility is intended to help the tech giant meet the growing demand for its AI and cloud services.

  • Germany's University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein is migrating its data and operations to the cloud, specifically T-Systems' Sovereign Cloud, which is hosted with Google. Among other potential benefits, hospital bosses hope the move to the cloud will help with the evaluation of MRI scans and the detection of tumors.

  • Groundbreaking new research from Openreach, the network access arm of UK incumbent operator BT, reveals that the cookie of choice for its telecom engineers on home visits is that classic British obesity-driver, the chocolate digestive. Here at Eurobites Towers, the preference is for squares of the Lindt Excellence Dark Sea Salt Bar (100g). Pretty classy, huh?

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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