Spotify lodges EU complaint against Apple over unfair music competition

Spotify lodges EU complaint against Apple over unfair music competition

Spotify lodges EU complaint against Apple over unfair music competition

The investment firm said such interference "holds no practical goal other than to force competitive services into higher cost structures and unfairly tax service activity on the iOS platform". It argues that Apple both has a vested interest in promoting its own services, such as Apple Music, and the opportunity to potentially limit those of rivals. Spotify and Apple have previously clashed over the latter's failure to approve an app update to the former. (Apple rejected that charge, saying Spotify had been seeking preferential treatment.) And Spotify has complained more recently that the 30 percent fee Apple takes for some app payments, like when you upgrade your Spotify account from free to premium, is used as a tool to throttle competitors.

He then blamed Apple for not providing a robust alternative solution to Apple's payment system.

From there, Ek goes on to lament that if the company decides that situation is too onerous and doesn't want to use Apple's payment system as a way of getting around this, "Apple then applies a series of technical and experience-limiting restrictions on Spotify".

Spotify began emailing customers in 2015 that they should cancel subscriptions purchased through Apple's App Store.

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"To keep our price competitive for our customers, [this price inflation] isn't something we can do", Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said in a statement.

All Spotify wants, says its founder, is to be treated the same as apps that don't pay the 30% tax such as Uber or Deliveroo.

Examples cited include limiting communications with Spotify customers and "routinely" blocking app upgrades. "Over time, this has included locking Spotify and other competitors out of Apple services such as Siri, HomePod, and Apple Watch".

Apple hasn't as of the time of this writing responded to requests for comments about Spotify's action, while a spokesperson for the European Commission told The Wall Street Journal that Spotify's complaint has been received and is being reviewed.

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Spotify also contends that Apple gives its own services an unfair advantage by allowing them to violate rules third-party services must abide by, like sending push notifications offering savings, or preventing the use of iOS APIs to recommend podcasts.

Consumers should have a real choice of payment systems and not be locked down or forced to use Apple's discriminatory tariffs. Through their app stores, the two tech giants have for years acted as gatekeepers to iPhone and Android users, dictating how many people shop for apps and pay for their services. Instead, the company is asking for fair set of rules that apple to everyone on the App Store, including Apple itself. It's not something we ever have-or will-shy away from.

"Let me be clear that this is not a Spotify-versus-Apple issue". That's what competition on the merits is all about.

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