Spotify Lodges Official Complaint Against Apple for 'Unfair Advantages'

Monday, 18 Mar, 2019

Ek did stress that this isn't a "Spotify-versus-Apple issue" but rather a "Competition on the merits" but...let's be honest here, it also is very much a Spotify-versus-Apple issue.

Apple said its revenue share is in exchange for connecting a third-party's services to its users, using the App Store billing system, and its developer tools that allow Spotify to build its iPhone and iPad applications. It noted that the revenue share only applies during the first year of an annual subscription - Spotify "left out that it drops to 15 percent in the years after".

Apple issued a statement today in response to Spotify's antitrust complaint against the tech giant with the European Commission, Music Business Worldwide reports.

Spotify claimed that Apple made it hard for companies like Spotify to compete fairly with Apple's own services on the company's platform by putting artificial restrictions and ever-shifting goalposts. One reason for that is due to the Apple App store.

It then goes on to highlight some of the occasions where the pair have worked together to bring Spotify to Apple devices and platforms.

Unhappy with simply ripping into Spotify's complaints about Apple's business practices, Apple chose to then take issue with Spotify's treatment of music artists.

But Apple is not taking that complaint lying down, and has hit back with its own statement, in which it fiercely criticised Spotify for the small fees it pays to artists, musicians and songwriters.

'By creating new marketplaces, we can create more opportunities not just for our business, but for artists, creators, entrepreneurs and every "crazy one" with a big idea, ' the firm added. By owning both the iOS system on iPhones and the App Store, Ek said the company gives itself an unfair advantage over Spotify and other similar services. As for the Apple Watch, it said the claim was "especially surprising" because the Spotify Watch app is now the number one app in the Watch Music category. On that point, Apple's policy is that it only charges for "digital goods and services that are purchased inside the app", not services that are offered outside in the real world.

Every monopolist will suggest they have done nothing wrong and will argue that they have the best interests of competitors and consumers at heart. The EU has gone after Apple over antitrust concerns in the past, so there could end up being an investigation here but we'll have to wait and see.

As part of its complaint, EK listed three key rules that it would like the European Commission to enforce.

Apple said Spotify has informed it of plans to integrate the music streaming service with Siri and that Apple is "ready to help" as appropriate.

Apple's approach has always been to grow the pie.

Even now, only a tiny fraction of their subscriptions fall under Apple's revenue-sharing model.