- Music streaming giant Spotify filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission’s antitrust regulators, saying Apple Music has an “unfair advantage” over rivals.
- In a blog post published Wednesday, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said Apple’s control of its App Store deprives consumers of choices and puts unfair restrictions, including fees, on competitors.
In a blog post published Wednesday, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said Apple’s control of its App Store deprives consumers of choices and puts unfair restrictions, including fees, on competitors. Ek said that after failing to resolve the issue directly with Apple, Spotify is seeking action from the European Commission.
“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,” Ek said in the post.
Apple launched its own Apple Music streaming service as a competitor to Spotify in 2015. Apple was not immediately available when contacted by CNBC for comment.
According to Ek, Apple requires Spotify and other digital services to pay a 30 percent tax on purchases made through Apple’s payment system. The fees makes it impossible for Spotify to keep its prices competitive with Apple Music, Spotify said. Ek added other apps on the App Store, including Uber and Deliveroo, are not subject to the “Apple tax.”
Those fees are commonly referred to as a “tax” Apple imposes on app developers, but Apple characterizes it as a revenue share model for the App Store. Paid apps that don’t have a subscription model are also required to give Apple a 30 percent cut of each sale.
Ek also accused Apple of blocking Spotify and other competitors from Apple’s services such as Siri, Homepod and Apple Watch.
Spotify Technology S.A. shares were trading at $145.27 per share on Wednesday morning, down $0.06 (-0.04%). Year-to-date, SPOT has gained 27.99%, versus a 12.66% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
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