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16 March 2019, 01:14 | Joann Bryant
Spotify files antitrust complaint to Brussels against Apple
Spotify opted not to use the in-app purchase (IAP) system Apple provided, and the company alleges that the decision led to second-class treatment from Apple.
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.
"It's why, after careful consideration, Spotify has filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission (EC), the regulatory body responsible for keeping competition fair and non-discriminatory".
Ek called for apps to be able to compete on their merits, not based on who owns the App Store.
Meanwhile, other developers have also complained about Apple's constantly evolving App Store guidelines, which feels shifting goalposts that the company changes on a whim, often to suit its own interests while claiming to do so on behalf of its users.
The music streaming provider further argues that developers that choose not to use the IAP system also end up taking a hit from an additional set of restrictions imposed on them by Apple.
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 United States tech companies.
The Spotify app is free to download and users need to spend Rs 119 a month to upgrade to Spotify Premium. Netflix recently stopped allowing iOS users from subscribing to their plans from within the app as they too no longer wanted to pay the Apple tax.
Spotify has filed a legal complaint against Apple for what it believes is anti-competitive behavior.
Spotify, for example, asks people to pay for its premium subscription through its website rather than through iTunes.
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.
"And to keep our price competitive for our customers, that isn't something we can do", added Ek. Spotify says that Apple has repeatedly rejected updates to its iOS app after Spotify withdrew from using Apple's in-app purchase system, which gave Apple a 30% cut of the subscription charges.
"We aren't seeking special treatment", Ek explains. He also wants customers to have "a real choice of payment systems".
As I recently shared, competition pushes us to evolve and improve both the customer and creator experience.
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