Spotify files complaint against Apple

Spotify says Apple Music has

The Verge reports that music streaming service Spotify has filed an antitrust complaint against tech giant Apple with the European Union related to the 30 percent cut that Apple takes from subscriptions made via their 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 nondiscriminatory.

Apple controls what's allowed into its app store and how those programs can interact with its users, but it also competes with streaming music providers directly via Apple Music. For instance, the HomePod or Apple Watch is only compatible with Apple Music at the moment while Spotify is off bounds on both platforms.

The 30 percent cut has always been a sticking point for app providers and Apple.

Spotify has been unhappy with its treatment by Apple for years, and filed an informal complaint with the Commission three years ago, said Jacques Lafitte at the Avisa consultancy in Brussels.

The streaming music service announced its "Time to Play Fair" campaign today, accusing Apple of, among other things, regularly changing the rules for iOS developers in ways that disadvantage rivals. In 2016, Spotify updated their payment policies to do just that, which caused Apple to respond by restricting app upgrades and limiting customer communication.

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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 30% cut Ek's referring to is commonly known as "Apple tax", and Apple has been sued over it before. "And to keep our price competitive for our customers, that isn't something we can do", he said. While Spotify is available for free via Apple, upgrading to its Premium tier service can now only be done via the internet.

Spotify's claims, while Europe-based, come just days after US presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren said she would move to break up Apple for reasons that resonate with Spotify's complaint.

"We aren't seeking special treatment", he said in a blog post.

A Spotify EU complaint brought against Apple says that Apple stifles competition because of Apple's 30% App Store tax.

Spotify's main complaint is that Apple requires apps like Spotify to pay a 30 percent surcharge on purchases made by users on Apple products, essentially taking a slice of revenue from products developed by competitors. We want the same fair rules for companies young and old, large and small. It also wants consumers to have a "real choice" of payment systems and not be locked in to using "discriminatory tariffs such as Apple's".

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