Spotify says the iPhone maker company Apple isn’t competing fair when it comes to music fans.
The Swedish music streaming company lodged a complaint with European antitrust officials against Tech giant Apple, condemning it of giving an unethical advantage over rivals to its own music service.
The founder and CEO of Spotify, Daniel Ek, wrote in a blog post.
“Apple has introduced rules to the App Store that purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience,”.
He said Spotify had requested intervention from the European Commission after
“trying unsuccessfully to resolve the issues directly with Apple.”
Ek said that Apple requires Spotify and other content providers to pay a 30% fee on purchases made through Apple’s in-app payment system. Apple Music doesn’t have to pay the fee, which Spotify claims puts its competitors at a disadvantage.
Ek said that Spotify and other music content providers are required by Apple to pay a 30 per cent fee on purchases made via Apple’s in-app payment system. Spotify alleges Apple Music is not required to pay the fee which places its competitors at a disadvantage.
Spotify said it had to raise its subscription from € 9.99 ($ 11.30) to € 12.99 ($ 14.70) in 2014 due to Apple’s demands — just as Apple released its Apple Music service for € 9.99.
“To our fans, this just looked like we were ripping you off,”
Spotify said in an explanation posted on a campaign website that it launched to strengthen its accusation.
In 2016, Spotify opted out of the payment system, however, it also had to quit its premium subscription service out of the apple app store. There is still only the free version in the app store.
Spotify opted out of the payment system in 2016, but that meant it also had to pull its premium subscription service from the app store. In the app store, only the free version still remains available.
Spotify Founder Daniel Ek said,
“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.”
Ek challenged that other Apps that offer services through Apple, such as Uber or Deliveroo, are not required to pay.
“We should all be subject to the same fair set of rules and restrictions — including Apple Music,” Ek said.
He also said that Apple restricts Spotify from sharing information about promotions/deals with its users and limits Siri, HomePod and Apple Watch to play the service.
Apple ruled the music downloads market with iTunes until Spotify launched in 2008. since then, it has grappled in music streaming for a long time to compete with Spotify.
A European Commission spokesperson stated the watchdog is analysing the complaint received from Spotify. There is no deadline for this process to be concluded. The spokesman would not clarify whether other companies were facing similar complaints from Apple.
Previously, the European Commission acted on complaints. It commanded multi-billion dollar antitrust penalties on Google for misusing its powerful position on Android devices, its AdSense advertising service, and Google shopping after it was asked to investigate by its rivals.