Apple chides Spotify over claims of unfair App Store

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Spotify Apple Music

 

Apple countered a complaint from Spotify that its App Store imposes unfair fees and creates unfair competition. It went on to say the music streaming service wants to earn more off others’ work.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek blogged Wednesday about Apple’s control of its App Store. He said the tech giant robs consumers of choices and puts unfair fees on competitors.

After discussions with Apple failed, Ek said they now want the European Commission to mediate and take action.

“In recent years, Apple has introduced rules to the App Store that purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience — essentially acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers,” Ek said in the post.

Ek said Apple wants Spotify and similar services to pay 30 percent tax on purchases made via Apple’s in-app payment system.

The fees hinder Spotify from offering more competitive prices with Apple Music, he added. Apple launched Apple Music in 2015 to compete with Spotify.

Ek said other apps like Uber and Deliveroo are safe from “Apple tax.”  And he also charged Apple of blocking Spotify from services such as Apple Watch, Homepod and Siri.

Spotify said it launched the complaint in the EU because they headquarter in Stockholm, Sweden.

The European Commission is tough on the antitrust issues of big tech firms. It imposed last year a record $5 billion fine on Google for infringing antitrust regulations.

Apple’s Response

Apple said Thursday that Spotify wants all the benefits of a free app. But it markets a paid service.

“Spotify wouldn’t be the business they are today without the App Store ecosystem, but now they’re leveraging their scale to avoid contributing to maintaining that ecosystem for the next generation of app entrepreneurs. We think that’s wrong,” Apple said in its statement.

Spotify’s complaint focuses on the 30 percent fee Apple charges developers on in-app purchases in the App Store.

Apple struck hard against Spotify. The tech giant said 84 percent of App Store apps are free to download or use.

Apple remarked that Spotify left out relevant information. It said the 30 percent fee drops to 15 percent after one year of an annual subscription.

The firm portrays the “Apple tax” as its means to share revenue for the App Store.

Apple said it gives Spotify vital software development tools and a secure payment system for in-app transactions.

“Spotify is asking to keep all those benefits while also retaining 100 percent of the revenue,” Apple added. 

Apple also said that Spotify’s complaint about blockage from Apple Watch and other products were unforeseen.

“The only time we have requested adjustments is when Spotify has tried to sidestep the same rules that every other app follows,” Apple explained further.

Apple’s reaction escalates the fight between two firms that want to win over customers in their music streaming business.

Last week, Spotify sued music creators after the US Copyright Royalty Board demanded to increase its royalty payments.

Spotify has 96 million paid subscribers worldwide.


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Author: Francis Rey

Francis is a voracious reader and prolific writer. His work appears on SocialBarrel.com and several other websites, covering social media, technology and other niches.

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