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Swedish Music Streaming Giant Spotify Files Complaint Against Apple’s App Store Rules

According to Spotify, if it pays this tax, it would force it to artificially inflate the price of its premium membership well above the price of Apple Music

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Spotify Music still leads outside of the US, tallying 75 million subscribers as part of its first earnings report in May.
Spotify Music still leads outside of the US, tallying 75 million subscribers as part of its first earnings report in May. Pixabay

Swedish music streaming giant Spotify said it has filed an antitrust complaint against Apple with the European Union (EU) alleging that the tech giant is harming consumer choice and stifling innovation via the rules it enforces on its iOS App Store.

“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 non-discriminatory.

“In recent years, Apple has introduced rules to the App Store that purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience — essentially acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers,” Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

Cupertino-based Apple requires that Spotify and other digital services pay a 30 per cent tax on purchases made through Apple’s payment system, including upgrading from a free to premium subscription.

Apple, Campus, China
A customer is entering the Apple store in Fairfax, Virginia. VOA

According to Spotify, if it pays this tax, it would force it to artificially inflate the price of its 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,” added Ek.

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The music streaming services giant has also started a press campaign, including a website dedicated to the iPhone maker’s unfair behaviour and a YouTube video explaining the company’s grievances.

Earlier this week, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, who recently launched her 2020 presidential bid, said she was in favour of passing laws that prevent large e-commerce platforms with global annual revenue of $25 billion or more, from owning both the platform and any sellers on it. (IANS)

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Tech Giant Apple Hits Back at Spotify For Antitrust Complaint: Report

The Cupertino, California-headquartered tech giant also alleged that Spotify was also trying to squeeze the artists, musicians and songwriters -- not just the App Store

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Apple, smartphone
Customers walk past an Apple logo inside of an Apple store at Grand Central Station in New York, Aug. 1, 2018. VOA

Taking exception to Spotify’s complaint with the European Union (EU) alleging that the iOS App Store rules are unfair, Apple has slammed the Swedish music streaming giant for wanting “all the benefits of a free app without being free”.

“A full 84 per cent of the apps in the App Store pay nothing to Apple when you download or use the app. That’s not discrimination, as Spotify claims,” Apple said in a statement.

In its complaint with the EU, Spotify said that Apple requires it and other digital services pay a 30 per cent tax on purchases made through Apple’s payment system, including upgrading from a free to premium subscription.

According to Spotify, if it pays this tax, it would force it to artificially inflate the price of its 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,” Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, wrote in a blog post this week.

Apple, Campus, China
A customer is entering the Apple store in Fairfax, Virginia. VOA

Apple said its revenue share is 30 per cent only for the first year of an annual subscription. It drops to 15 per cent in the years after.

“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 said, adding that building a secure payment system which allows users to have faith in in-app transactions was no small undertaking.

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The Cupertino, California-headquartered tech giant also alleged that Spotify was also trying to squeeze the artists, musicians and songwriters — not just the App Store.

“Just this week, Spotify sued music creators after a decision by the US Copyright Royalty Board required Spotify to increase its royalty payments. This isn’t just wrong, it represents a real, meaningful and damaging step backwards for the music industry,” Apple added in the statement. (IANS)