Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Apple Responds to Spotify's EU Antitrust Lawsuit for Unfair Practices

Apple Responds to Spotify's EU Antitrust Lawsuit for Unfair Practices

We share critical software development tools to support Spotify's app building. Apple also found Spotify's accusations in regards to Apple Watch surprising since it approved its WatchOS app in September 2018 with the same speed and process as it approved any other app.

"That's how it should be".

Most of the focus on those services has revolved around the question of whether people want them or if Apple can offer enough quality content to compete.

What Spotify is demanding is something very different.

In a lengthy post on the company's website, Apple said that Spotify has used the App Store "for years to dramatically grow their business", but now it wants to keep the benefits of that ecosystem "without making any contributions to that marketplace".

That's seemingly a reference to the appeal against the new Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) rates for songwriters, although describing that as taking creators to court is a stretch.

The Swedish firm's complaint, Apple said, "wraps its financial motivations in misleading rhetoric about who we are, what we've built and what we do to support independent developers, musicians, songwriters and creators of all stripes".

Spotify claims we're blocking their access to products and updates to their app.

Apple's full rebuttal can be viewed over here.

Apple says Spotify wants 'the benefits of a free app without being free'

Additionally, Apple said it had approved and distributed almost 200 app updates on Spotify's behalf, resulting in over 300 million downloaded copies of the Spotify app. Spotify argues that Apple's policies deprived customers of choice. What's more, some companies are not too thrilled with the way Apple manages the App Store in general. However, it's worth pointing out that the kit does not support third-party audio app integration which explains why you can't tell Siri to play your music on Spotify.

The only contribution that Apple requires is for digital goods and services that are purchased inside the app using our secure in-app purchase system. Apple countered that the revenue sharing at that level only applies during the first year of an annual subscription - Spotify, it said, "left out that it drops to 15 percent in the years after".

The Cupertino, California tech giant responded to Spotify's Wednesday assertion that it uses its power over the App Store to unfairly limit rivals to Apple Music, its music streaming service, with a statement of its own on Thursday.

"To illustrate what I mean, let me share a few examples". Apple connects Spotify to our users.

"Spotify is free to build apps for - and compete on - our products and platforms, and we hope they do", it added.

If a company is big enough to take the risk, however, it's possible to get users to enter their payments through a web browser and then link their accounts to the app without handing over fees to Apple. "Spotify is asking to keep all those benefits while also retaining 100 percent of the revenue", Apple says.

"We think that's wrong", it said.

Mr Ek said it had tried to talk to Apple about these issues but the negotiations had come to nothing. Today the company has shot back, basically saying that Spotify just lives to make money off others work. When it did eventually give in and accept Apple's in-app purchases rules, Apple Music launched at a lower price that Spotify couldn't meet because of the App Store's revenue split model.


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