Spotify Files EU Antitrust over Fee in the Apple App Store

14 Mars, 2019, 03:52 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Spotify CEO Daniel Ek

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek today has said that the company is going to file an antitrust complaint against Apple with the Europian Commission (EC) for putting its competitors at a disadvantage.

The company takes issue with how Apple acts as a gatekeeper to the internet by controlling important platforms such as its iOS mobile operating system and the App Store, while also competing against services like Spotify with its Apple Music service. Apple requires that Spotify and other digital services pay a 30% tax on purchases made through Apple's payment system, including upgrading from our Free to our Premium service. He explained that the charge could push Spotify to inflate its prices above the cost for a subscription to Apple Music, Apple's music streaming service. Ek says he wants the rules that apply to third-party apps to be equally applied to Apple Music, and that services like Spotify should be able to contact their users as they wish, and not force them to use a single payment system for in-app purchases. That is the 30% of monthly subscription fees that Apple takes on subscriptions made through its payment system.

How Apple handles that dual role of gatekeeper to iOS and also an app and services provider is part of Spotify's justification for its complaint to the European Commission (EC), according to the firm.

Breitbart News will keep readers updated on this issue as the story develops.

Apple has been contacted for comment. Spotify no longer allows users to subscribe directly through iOS - and Apple's policies prevent the company from telling users how to subscribe through other portals.

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Music streaming outfit Spotify has moaned to the European Commission claiming that Apple is stifling competition "acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers". But if it shuns Apple's payment system, Spotify alleges that Apple blocks app upgrades or stops it from working with Apple services like Siri assistant. "We should all be subject to the same fair set of rules and restrictions, including Apple Music".

Ek said that Spotify is not asking for special treatment but would like Apple to treat it like other apps that are not subject to the 30 percent fee.

Spotify ran an ad campaign in 2016 to try and get users to sign up for its premium service directly on its own site, bypassing the app store. It's not something we ever have-or will-shy away from.

In a blog post announcing the suit, Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek said the company had attempted in vain to settle the matter with Apple directly. That's what competition on the merits is all about.

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