Published: Сб, Марта 16, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Spotify Asks the European Commission to Make Apple Play Fair

Spotify Asks the European Commission to Make Apple Play Fair

Spotify has accused Apple of abusing the power of its App Store to steer customers to its own music-streaming service.

Spotify has filed a complaint against Apple with European Commission regulators, alleging the so-called "Apple tax" gives Apple an "unfair advantage" over rival companies.

It's why, after careful consideration, Spotify has filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission (EC), the regulatory body responsible for keeping competition fair and nondiscriminatory. When Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) launched its music service in the European Union, they were able to be both the platform holder as well as a competitor to Spotify.

He said that if Spotify pays Apple's tax it would be forced to artificially inflate the price of its premium membership well above the price of Apple music.

The music streaming provider further argues that developers that choose not to use the IAP system also end up taking a hit from an additional set of restrictions imposed on them by Apple.

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The complaint asserts that, while the companies initially had a "symbiotic relationship" in 2009, once Apple became a direct competitor with its own Apple Music service, "their restrictions (on Spotify's app) started to become more frequent and extreme", Horacio Gutierrez, general counsel of Spotify told the Financial Times.

If Spotify was to ditch Apple's payment system, Ek continues, "Apple then applies a series of technical and experience-limiting restrictions on Spotify". Spotify is accusing the company of unevenly enforcing App Store policies in a way that tilts the playing field against rivals.

Spotify began emailing customers in 2015 that they should cancel subscriptions purchased through Apple's App Store.

He goes on to explain that Spotify has tried to work out its dispute with Apple directly, to no avail. He emphasized that Apple requires Spotify and other digital services to pay a 30 percent tax on purchases made through Apple's payment system.

Spotify used to make a lot of money for Apple. Ek insists that Spotify isn't seeking special treatment in filing this motion. What the streaming music service wants, it claims, is to be free of the "Apple tax" in the same way that apps like Uber and Deliveroo are. Also, that consumers should have the choice of using whichever payment system they want within the apps and that developers should not be prevented from communicating with its users when it comes to marketing and promotions. It's not something we ever have-or will-shy away from. That's what competition on the merits is all about.

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