The European Union is preparing to impose its first-ever fine on Apple in the amount of about 500 million euros as a result of an antitrust investigation by the European Commission, the Financial Times reports.

This investigation closely looked into Apple’s potential misuse of its platform to prioritize its own services over those of competitors. In particular, it examined allegations that Apple prevented apps from directing iPhone users to more affordable music subscription options outside the App Store, which was prompted by a formal complaint from Spotify in 2019.

The Commission is expected to find Apple’s actions unlawful, violating EU competition rules aimed at maintaining a fair single market. As a result, Apple will be prohibited from preventing music services from offering users more cost-effective subscription alternatives outside the App Store.

Brussels accuses Apple of using its dominant market position to impose anticompetitive practices on its competitors, calling the tech giant’s terms “unfair trading conditions.” This fine is one of the most significant financial penalties the EU has imposed on a major technology company. Previous fines against Google, totaling about €8 billion, are still the subject of litigation.

Although Apple was fined €1.1 billion in France in 2020 for anticompetitive behavior, which was later reduced to €372 million on appeal, this is the first time Brussels has fined a company for violating antitrust laws. The EU’s move marks a new clash with large tech companies, emphasizing the need to comply with new rules under the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which requires large tech companies including Apple, Amazon and Google to comply more strictly with the law in order to promote competition and support smaller tech companies.

Despite Apple’s efforts to bring its operations in line with these standards by announcing changes to iOS, the App Store and the Safari browser, criticism from Spotify and other companies suggests that these measures are not enough. Apple claims that its updates offer developers more flexibility in distributing apps and processing payments in the EU.

As the EU continues to consult with Apple’s competitors on possible concessions to the company, in particular regarding access to Apple Pay, the timing of the Commission’s decision remains uncertain. However, it is clear that the direction of the antitrust investigation will not be changed. Apple, while reserving the right to appeal the EU courts’ rulings, has previously expressed satisfaction with the reduction in the number of charges and its willingness to address the issues raised to promote competition.

The European Commission has not yet commented on the case, emphasizing that tensions remain between regulators and large tech companies over market practices and competition.