Spotify CEO speaks out against Apple with dedicated microsite and video

Spotify CEO speaks out against Apple with dedicated microsite and video

Spotify CEO speaks out against Apple with dedicated microsite and video

Spotify founder Daniel Ek said on Wednesday that the company has filed a formal antitrust complaint with the executive European Commission against Apple - a move that adds to the debate about how to rein in the power of big-tech.

It's why, after careful consideration, Spotify has filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission (EC), the regulatory body responsible for keeping competition fair and nondiscriminatory.

Apple Music overtook Spotify as the most popular music streaming platform in the United States past year, and later this month will launch a TV and movie streaming service to rival Netflix and Amazon Prime.

It's not the first time Apple has faced criticism over how it manages the App Store, and the demands it places on developers producing apps for iOS devices like iPhone and iPad.

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The Spotify head said if the company pays the tax it would force them to "artificially inflate" the price of the premium membership which will be more expensive than Apple Music.

Apple launched Apple Music in 2015 in a bid to compete with Spotify in the burgeoning streaming music space. If users upgrade to a paid Spotify subscription, Ek explains, and do so through Apple's payment system such as with an in-app purchase, Apple takes 30-percent of that. The announcement also comes with a spiffy new Spotify-branded site called Time to Play Fair.

We aren't even allowed to tell you something as simple as how and where to upgrade to premium via the app. Apple uses compliance with their restrictions as a pretext to block our app updates - whether they are bug fixes or enhancements, making it challenging, and in some cases impossible, to bring you our latest and greatest innovations.

Ek points to the revenue share that Apple demands for services that charge customers via apps distributed through the App Store, unofficially known as the "Apple tax". Spotify has provided an entire timeline of the events, going all the way back to 2010 when Apple started changing the guidelines for its App Store. For example, Siri can still not be used to control Spotify playlists.

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Ek says that Spotify wants the same treatment as other App Store apps like Uber and Deliveroo, "who aren't subject to the Apple tax and therefore don't have the same restrictions".

"We should all be subject to the same fair set of rules and restrictions-including Apple Music", he said. Apple Music does not have to pay the Apple tax, so for the brief period where Spotify did use Apple's payment system they had to increase their price, which made Apple Music seem like the better deal.

"All of these actions by Apple make it untenable for us as a competitor, and for us as a player in the global competitive ecosystem, to stand by and not take action", said Mr Gutierrez. That's what competition on the merits is all about.

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