Reuters reports that the Federal Trade Commission is exploring the possibility of investigating Apple for violating anti-trust laws. Previously, the company was being scrutinized for allegedly pushing competing services to abandon their free streaming plans. This time, the tension is over Apple’s portion of the proceeds it takes from competing services on the App store: the company gets “a 30 percent cut of all in-app purchases for digital goods,” putting Spotify and other services at a disadvantage. According to Reuters, “some streaming companies complain that Apple's cut forces them to either charge more in the App Store than they do on other platforms or erode their profit margins.” In addition, the App store has several rules that limit other company’s marketing options within the platform. “These include a prohibition on advertising in the app that the company is on other platforms, a ban on marketing in the app that consumers can also buy directly from the company's website, and a ban on linking to a company's website from within the app.”
Reuters notes that “these restrictions apply to all apps, not just music streaming apps,” and that Google charges the same 30% for music apps in its store. At the moment, the FTC has not opened a formal investigation.