Spotify Claims “Unfair” Practices and Files Complaints Against Apple

Spotify has been competing against Apple Music for a couple of years now and therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Apple has been doing its best to make it difficult for Spotify to sell its services via the App Store. However, Spotify has had enough and it filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission. Spotify is accusing Apple for enforcing App Store rules that “purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expensive of the user experience,” according to Spotify’s CEO.

Spotify Files Complaint Against Apple

“To illustrate what I mean, let me share a few examples. Apple requires that Spotify and other digital services pay a 30% tax on purchases made through Apple’s payment system, including upgrading from our Free to our Premium service. If we pay this tax, it would force us to artificially inflate the price of our 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,” said Daniel Ek who is the CEO of Spotify in a recent blog post.

From the looks of it, Apple’s 30% tax is making it impossible for Spotify’s premium tier to compete against Apple Music’s premium tier which costs $9.99 since Spotify has to charge $12.99 in order to make its money.

Technical Restrictions

“As an alternative, if we choose not to use Apple’s payment system, forgoing the charge, Apple then applies a series of technical and experience-limiting restrictions on Spotify. For example, they limit our communication with our customers—including our outreach beyond the app. In some cases, we aren’t even allowed to send emails to our customers who use Apple. Apple also routinely blocks our experience-enhancing upgrades. Over time, this has included locking Spotify and other competitors out of Apple services such as Siri, HomePod, and Apple Watch,” added Daniel Ek.

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