Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Business | By Eloise Houston

Spotify Takes On Apple’s Anti-Competitive Behavior in Europe

Spotify Takes On Apple’s Anti-Competitive Behavior in Europe

Spotify started encouraging customers to boycott in-app purchases for its own Premium subscription in 2015.

Music streaming service Spotify has filed a complaint with the European Commission, saying that Apple has an unfair advantage that "stifles competition" in the sector.

Spotify isn't just trying to sway the European Commission but the public as well, as outlined by its video above. The executive says that all apps should be able to compete fairly, and Apple Music shouldn't get an advantage because Apple owns the App Store. This includes locking Spotify and other competitors out of Apple services such as Siri, HomePod, and Apple Watch.

Spotify is not the only company to object to the app store practices of Apple and Google, which operates Google Play. Spotify says the fees make it impossible for its pricing to be competitive with Apple Music, noting that other apps on the App Store, including Uber and Deliveroo, are not subject to the 30% fee.

The music streaming provider further argues that developers that choose not to use the IAP system also end up taking a hit from an additional set of restrictions imposed on them by Apple.

Spotify files antitrust complaint to Brussels against Apple
Apple's 30% app store commission unfair, Spotify claims

After an unsuccessful attempt to resolve the issues directly with Apple, Spotify has not only filed a complaint with the European Commission, but also launched a press campaign against the company.

Because Spotify uses an alternative payment system, Apple punishes Spotify by applying restrictions to Spotify such as limiting its communication with its customers, he added.

Spotify's complaint apart, there also seems to be a consensus building in the U.S. about the growing clout that several companies has begun to exercise on the masses or the market.

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. Spotify is claiming anti-competitive and discriminatory behavior on Apple's part with regards to the operation of the App Store.

"We aren't seeking special treatment", he said in a blog post. Also, that consumers should have the choice of using whichever payment system they want within the apps and that developers should not be prevented from communicating with its users when it comes to marketing and promotions. We want the same fair rules for companies young and old, large and small. That's what competition on the merits is all about.

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