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Spotify Wages War on App Store Rules

Paul Rubens - March 13, 2019 - 09:26 AM
Spotify Wages War on App Store Rules
The streaming company has complained to the European Commission about Apple's rules which it says are unfair.

(CCM) — Music streaming service Spotify has lodged an unfair competition complaint about Apple with the European Commission (EC), Daniel Ek, the company's chief executive, has announced in a blog post.

"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, explaining the decision to approach the EC.

Ek's argument is that Apple requires Spotify to pay a 30% "Apple tax" on every purchase that Spotify customers make though Apple's payment system, including upgrading from the Free to the Premium version of the music streaming service.

"If we pay this tax, it would force us to artificially inflate the price of our Premium membership well above the price of Apple Music. And to keep our price competitive for our customers, that isn’t something we can do," he said.

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 is hoping that, in Europe at least, the EC will force Apple to apply the same rules to Spotify as it does to its own Apple Music, allowing it to compete "fairly on the merits, and not based on who owns the App Store."

Image: © Gil C - Shutterstock.com
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