Here are five things you need to know this morning:

Apple fined US$2B for music app dominance: Apple Inc. was hit with a 1.8 billion euro fine by the European Union on Monday for using its market power to make it harder for rivals like Spotify to offer competing music streaming options on its devices. The larger-than-expected fine is the first to be handed out to Apple by the EU, but it’s not the tech giant’s first competition tussle on the continent, following a 2022 decision to mandate USB charging for all portable electronic devices. The music streaming fine announced Monday was sparked by a complaint nearly five years ago from Stockholm-based Spotify, which claimed it was forced to ramp up the price of its monthly subscriptions to cover costs associated with Apple’s alleged stranglehold on how the App Store operates. The fine is part of EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager’s campaign to dismantle Big Tech’s dominance in the bloc through fines and regulatory actions. By restricting developers from informing consumers about alternative cheaper options available, “Apple abused its dominant position in the market for the distribution of music streaming apps,” Vestager said. In a blog post, Apple says it will appeal the decision, and says the move will harm consumers because it “cements the dominant position” of Spotify in the music streaming business.

PDAC begins: The world’s mining industry gathers in Toronto today, with the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada hosting its annual conference in the city through Tuesday. With more than 1,100 companies and tens of thousands of attendees, it’s not a stretch to suggest it’s one of the most important events of the year for an industry that’s critically important to Canada and the world. It goes without saying we’ll have extensive coverage and interviews with newsmakers today and tomorrow on the air and online at

OPEC keeps the oil taps tightened: The oil cartel known as OPEC is flexing its muscle again, with the group of oil producing nations announcing it will keep its spigots closed by 2.2 million barrels per day into the second quarter. OPEC had previously announced the cuts for the first quarter of this year, but the always-fractious group has found enough collaborative spirit to keep the cuts first announced last year going until June. More than half of the cuts will come from Saudi Arabia, which will turn off its taps by more than a million barrels a day. OPEC’s move had been buoyed by actions of non-OPEC member Russia, which has increasingly been working with the cartel, and has cut its own output by almost half a million barrels per day. The North American oil benchmark known as WTI is trading at just shy of US$80 per barrel on Monday, a level it touched on Friday after not having done so since November.

Drama brewing at Parkland: The largest shareholder at Calgary-based gas station owner Parkland gave a clear signal of its displeasure at the company on Monday, with Simpson Oil saying it is pondering what to do next. Last week, Parkland said it is moving the date of its shareholder meeting to March 28 this year, up from the original plan of May. That may not sound like a big deal, but it’s a problem for Simpson, which owns 19 per cent of Parkland’s shares, because until the end of March, its hands are tied by the terms of a pre-existing agreement that prevents the company from either nominating its own board members, or opposing the board’s choice. Two Simpson-linked directors abruptly resigned from the company several weeks ago, fueling speculation that Simpson had something planned.  “Simpson Oil will evaluate and consider its ability to fully exercise and protect its shareholder rights,” the Cayman Islands-based firm said Sunday. 

TC Energy selling natgas distributor: TC Energy and its partners have agreed to sell Portland Natural Gas Transmission System to a consortium of buyers including BlackRock and Morgan Stanley for US$1.14 billion. A big part of that purchase price is the assumption of debt, but TC Energy will use its share of the proceeds from the sale of the 500-kilometre pipeline from Atlantic Canada to New England to shore up its debt-laden balance sheet.