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14 March 2019, 02:12 | Cameron Gross
Daniel Ek has been CEO of Spotify since he co-founded it in 2006. Spotify
The complaint asserts that, while the companies initially had a "symbiotic relationship" in 2009, once Apple became a direct competitor with its own Apple Music service, "their restrictions (on Spotify's app) started to become more frequent and extreme", Horacio Gutierrez, general counsel of Spotify told the Financial Times.
Spotify has filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission that says Cupertino "introduced rules to the App Store that purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience".
Music streaming outfit Spotify has moaned to the European Commission claiming that Apple is stifling competition "acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers". Spotify and Apple have previously clashed over the latter's failure to approve an app update to the former. Complicating things, there are plenty of transactions that flow through iOS that Apple doesn't extract it's 30 percent from - rideshare services and food delivery apps, for instance (the most obvious distinction is that these apps facilitate physical purchases, not just the purchase of digital goods and services).
"This is not a Spotify vs Apple issue", he said.
Yet, he said, "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".
Spotify began emailing customers in 2015 that they should cancel subscriptions purchased through Apple's App Store.
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.
Apple didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
The company takes issue with how Apple acts as a gatekeeper to the internet by controlling important platforms such as its iOS mobile operating system and the App Store, while also competing against services like Spotify with its Apple Music service. In some cases, we aren't even allowed to send emails to our customers who use Apple. 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. When Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) launched its music service in the European Union, they were able to be both the platform holder as well as a competitor to Spotify.
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 U.S. tech companies. It is about supporting and nurturing the healthy ecosystem that made our two companies successful in the first place.
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