European Union to Launch Investigation Against Apple Following Spotify Complaint

Spotify app on an iPhone.                  Oscar Gutiérrez  CNET

The publication says that European Union officials surveyed Spotify customers following the complaint, along with rival platforms, before deciding to launch their own investigation which is set to begin in a few weeks. Regarding the 30 percent royalty, Apple says that's only for the first year of an annual subscription, and that Spotify conveniently leaves out that it drops to 15 percent in the years after. In particular, Spotify has argued that it may have to raise prices for its premium streaming plan to compensate for having to pay Apple a sizable chunk of its subscription fees. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

This comes after Spotify in March filed an antitrust complaint alleging that Apple is giving itself an "unfair advantage" through its 30 per cent "Apple Tax", which sees the firm charging a 30 per cent fee toward any sales through its App Store, including subscription services. Conversely, not paying the tax results in "a series of technical and experience-limiting restrictions on Spotify", complains Ek, such as limiting communications with Spotify customers.

Apple Music and Spotify are battling in the streaming music business.

The European Union (EU) has made a decision to investigate Swedish music-streaming giant Spotify's allegations accusing Apple of unfairly hindering its rivals and favouring Apple Music through its App Store policies.

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In response to the allegation leveled against it, Apple said it had approved and distributed almost 200 updates on Spotify's behalf which resulted in well over 300 million downloads of the Spotify app.

The EU competition commission's investigation of the App Store is expected to go on for months, if not years.

"Spotify seeks to keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem - including the substantial revenue that they draw from the App Store's customers - without making any contributions to that marketplace", the company wrote. Google has totted up fines totaling some €8.2 billion ($9.3 billion) for its own antitrust violations in Europe.

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