Spotify files European Union antitrust complaint against Apple

Spotify says Apple Music has

Apple requires Spotify and other digital services to pay a 30% tax on purchases made through Apple's payment system, including upgrading from a free to premium subscription.

Music-streaming service Spotify has filed a formal complaint against Apple this week, claiming that the iPhone maker has violated European Union competition rules by using numerous tactics to try and ice out competitors.

Spotify has filed an antitrust complaint against Apple, complaining to the European Commission about the "Apple tax" and unfair behaviors by the Cupertino company.

Apple controls both the iOS platform and its app store... which gets seedy when you consider that it also competes directly with some apps sold through that store (think: Apple Music vs. Spotify).

Ek believes that this app subscription "tax" is created to harm streaming services that compete with Apple's own services, such as Apple Music.

Spotify is not the only company to object to the app store practices of Apple and Google, which operates Google Play.

Apple has been kicking music-streaming service Spotify around for years, and Spotify is fed up.

Because Spotify uses an alternative payment system, Apple punishes Spotify by applying restrictions to Spotify such as limiting its communication with its customers, he added. Amazon famously does not allow users to purchase books through its Kindle app on iOS because it does not want to give Apple the 30% cut on every book.

Under App store rules, Spotify said, content-based apps could not include buttons or external links to pages with production information, discounts or promotions and faced difficulties fixing bugs.

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Additionally, the executive says that if it bypasses Apple's payment system, Apple will limit Spotify's communications with its subscribers.

"All of these actions by Apple make it untenable for us as a competitor, and for us as a player in the global competitive ecosystem, to stand by and not take action", said Mr Gutierrez.

The complaint was prompted by "an accumulation of increasing restrictions that we believe are extreme", he said.

Revenue generated by premium users who paid for the ad-free tier of Spotify through the app store, according to Ek, was subsidising Apple with 30 per cent of that fee.

Consumers should have a real choice of payment systems and not be locked down or forced to use Apple's discriminatory tariffs.

In addition to taking issue with those rules, Spotify alleges it has been the subject of unfair treatment.

As I recently shared, competition pushes us to evolve and improve both the customer and creator experience. We want the same fair rules for companies young and old, large and small.

Consumers win and our industry thrives when we're able to challenge each other on fair footing.

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