Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Economy | By

Spotify EU Complaint Says Apple Stifles Competition

Spotify EU Complaint Says Apple Stifles Competition

Apple, valued at $855 billion, makes most of its...

If you subscribe to Spotify in your web browser, it'll cost you $9.99 a month - the same as Apple Music.

According to Spotify, Apple makes life hard for any service that tries to get around the 30% fee.

Apple has been kicking music-streaming service Spotify around for years, and Spotify is fed up. Likewise, this person said, Google doesn't prevent Spotify directing its customers to buy a premium subscription through its website, rather than through the app. But this is the first time someone has publicly filed a complaint over it to the European Commission. This in return leads to a price inflation of Spotify's Premium membership, causing the company to be unable to fairly compete with the pricing of Apple's own music streaming service, Apple Music. The Stockholm-based company said it filed a complaint about this with the European Commission on March 11.

In a blog post, Founder and CEO of the company, Daniel Ek, said that "My goal for Spotify is and has always been to reimagine the audio experience by giving consumers the best creativity and innovation we have to offer. And to keep our price competitive for our customers, that isn't something we can do", he said.

One example that Ek outlined in his written deposition, is the manner in which Apple taxes businesses that want to use their platform as a seller's market.

Apple prohibits developers who don't use IAP from promoting paid offerings such as subscriptions inside their apps. That would have earned Apple approximately $6.6 million.

Spotify's complaint comes against the backdrop of Apple expanding its services business by launching new products. Apple charges the fee to all subscription apps that bill via the App Store. Netflix Inc. and video game makers Epic Games Inc. and Valve Corp. have also tried to bypass the App Store. "They continue to give themselves an unfair advantage at every turn", Ek said.

Fortnite, the hit title from Epic Games, charges players $7.99 for 1,000 V-Bucks (its in-game currency) on console and PC. We want the same fair rules for companies young and old, large and small.

Secondly consumers should have a choice of payment systems and shouldn't be locked in or forced to use systems with discriminatory tariffs such as Apple's. This includes the upgrades to Spotify's Premium service.

Apple has been approached for comment. The vast majority will feel that it's about time someone really fought back against Apple's fees.

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