The EU’s decision to fine Apple €1.8bn for breaking music streaming competition laws sends a strong message to the tech industry.

The European Commission (EC) ruled last week that Apple prevented streaming services like Spotify from informing customers they could pay for subscriptions outside the App Store.

Apple charges Spotify a 30% fee when a customer subscribes to the service via an iPhone.

The Swedish company complained to the EC that Apple was abusing its position as owner of one of the two major mobile operating systems and app stores.

In a statement, Spotify said: “No company, not even a monopoly like Apple, can wield power abusively to control how other companies interact with their customers”.

The EC ruled that Apple has broken antitrust rules by preventing developers from informing customers they can access “alternative, cheaper music services”.

Apple has its own interests in this segment with its Apple Music subscription service.

It will now have to pay the substantial multi-billion euro fine but has signalled its intention to appeal.

The company argued that the EC had not provided evidence that consumers were harmed.

It added that Spotify remains the market leader in the music streaming space and suggested it had influenced the final ruling after meeting the EC “more than 65 times” during the investigation.

The fine follows Apple’s announcement in January that it would allow customers in the EU to download apps from alternative stores on iPhone.

That came amid pressure from the new Digital Markets Act (DMA), which aims to prevent dominant tech companies like Apple and Google from restricting competition.