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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)

Next Story

Spotify Begins Testing its First Hardware: A Voice Assistant for Car

The device plugs into a vehicle's 12-volt outlet for power and connects to both a person's car and phone over Bluetooth

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spotify, testing, first, hardware
"Car Thing" is designed with a circular screen on one side. Pixabay

To help people enjoy audio while driving, Swedish music streaming giant Spotify is testing its first hardware – a voice-controlled smart assistant for cars called “Car Thing” – in the US.

“While we know there has been some speculation about our future plans, ‘Car Thing’ was developed to help us learn more about how people listen to music and podcasts. Our focus remains on becoming the world’s number one audio platform, not on creating hardware,” Spotify said in a blog-post on Friday.

The device plugs into a vehicle’s 12-volt outlet for power and connects to both a person’s car and phone over Bluetooth.

The wake word for the device as planned is “Hey Spotify”, which, followed by a song request would allow users to access their playlists and listen to their favourite songs, The Verge reported.

spotify, testing, first, hardware
Spotify is testing its first hardware – a voice-controlled smart assistant for cars called “Car Thing”. Pixabay

“Car Thing” is designed with a circular screen on one side, to display what is being played, and on the other side are a series of buttons that can be used to access playlist presets.

The test is supposed to include a small group of people and as part of the test, some premium users would receive the device for free.

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“We don’t have any current plans to make this specific device available to consumers, but the learnings from our test will dictate how we develop experiences everywhere you listen,” Spotify added in its post. (IANS)