Spotify reports Apple to European Union commission over rules which 'disadvantage' app developers

Spotify isn't too happy with Apple's App Store rules

Spotify isn't too happy with Apple's App Store

This includes locking Spotify and other competitors out of Apple services such as Siri, HomePod, and Apple Watch.

The founder and CEO of Spotify, Daniel Ek, announced today in a blog post (via Gizmodo) that Spotify has filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission (EC).

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". Spotify had 96 million paying subscribers at the last count in February, while Apple Music reportedly had 56 million subscribers at the end of 2018.

This has been a long-running bugbear of Spotify's: in 2016, Spotify ran a promotional campaign directing its users to sign up for its Premium tier on Spotify's site, rather than through the App Store. That is the 30% of monthly subscription fees that Apple takes on subscriptions made through its payment system.

The primary issues here are the 30 percent cut that Apple takes from nearly every transaction that goes through its system, and the alleged preferential treatment that Apple gives to its first-party streaming option (and direct competitor to Spotify), Apple Music.

The timeline eventually moves to more serious issues, where Apple disallowed alternate payment systems within apps on the App Store and forcing developers to use its own iTunes payment system, which comes with a 30% cut. Apple also routinely blocks our experience-enhancing upgrades.

Spotify wants the same treatment as other App Store apps like Uber and Deliveroo, "who aren't subject to the Apple tax and don't have the same problems".

Spotify owns the world's most popular music-streaming subscription service, which competes with Apple Music, Google Play Music, Amazon Music and others.

Ek accused Apple of using the App Store as a way to stifle market competition.

Spotify has formally asked Brussels to crack down on Apple's app store, alleging that the iPhone maker is "tilting the playing field to disadvantage competitors".

The restrictions, according to Ek, limit Spotify's communication, disallowing the music streaming platform to send emails to its customers who use Apple in some cases.

App Stores should not be allowed to control the communications between services and users.

A spat between the companies that operate two of the biggest music streaming services in the world has landed at the doorstep of the European Union, which has been taking an increasingly tough stance lately against antitrust-related issues involving USA tech companies.

Apple did not have any immediate comment on the lawsuit.

On its website about the issue, Spotify said Apple only imposes the 30 percent fee on some apps. That's what competition on the merits is all about.

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