Spotify files complaint against Apple's App Store rules

Spotify Apple

When choosing not to use this system, Spotify could no longer allow its customers to upgrade to the premium plans through the app itself.

Apple should be probed by the European Union's antitrust agency over how it allegedly squeezes rival music streaming services, Spotify Technology SA said, escalating a debate over how Apple takes a cut of sales on its App Store.

Spotify isn't just trying to sway the European Commission but the public as well, as outlined by its video above. "Apps should be able to compete fairly on the merits, and not based on who owns the app store", he added.

Apple's 30% "tax" on all app store purchases forces developers to hike subscription prices - making Apple Music look a bit more shiny and delicious to consumers - or eat the loss. This fee is largely responsible for Apple's $10 billion in services revenue per quarter, with relatively small amounts from licenses (default search engines etc.), subscriptions such as Apple Music, and Apple Pay and Apple Care for the remaining.

However, Ek said he has now been forced to officially lodge a complaint with the European commission after Apple introduced what he claimed were wider anti-competitive practices that has made it "both player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers".

Technical and experience-limiting restrictions are imposed on Spotify that makes it hard to communicate with customers if they choose not to use Apple's payment system, Ek added.

Spotify said it was asking the Commission to ensure fair competition.

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Additionally, Ek highlighted rules by Apple that "give themselves an unfair advantage at every turn".

The problem boils down to the fact that Apple won't allow Spotify to advertise that subscriptions are cheaper through its website, not the app.

Spotify used to make a lot of money for Apple.

Ek also explained that digital services like Spotify have to pay a 30% tax whenever there are purchases made through Apple's payment system, and this includes Spotify users upgrading their Spotify memberships.

All Spotify wants, says its founder, is to be treated the same as apps that don't pay the 30% tax such as Uber or Deliveroo.

"We should all be subject to the same fair set of rules and restrictions-including Apple Music", he said. 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.

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