Apple labels Spotify anti-competition complaint 'misleading rhetoric'

Apple chief executive Tim Cook

"Over time, this has included locking Spotify and other competitors out of Apple services such as Siri, HomePod, and Apple Watch".

In a lengthy statement, Apple accuses Spotify of looking to "keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem... without making any contributions to the marketplace" and of wrapping its "financial motivations in misleading rhetoric about who we are what we've built and what we do to support independent developers, musicians, songwriters and creators of all stripes". Because iOS is a walled garden, it isn't possible to offer an alternative place to download an app with purchases that avoid Apple's fees.

The iPhone maker is responding to a complaint that Spotify filed with the European Commission.

For one thing, Spotify claims that because it doesn't use Apple's payment system it is routinely penalised with technical and experiential limitations. The complaint was filed by consumers who wanted the company to cut its 30 percent fee it charges software developers who use the App Store.

Ek said this was the case when Apple allegedly limited Spotify's communication with its customers.

Specifically, Spotify said Apple requires a 30 percent tax on purchases made through Apple's in-app purchase system, which includes upgrading from its free to premium service.

Van Thillo said: "The dominance of the two main App-stores of Apple and Google is also harming news media providers".

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While Spotify is not looking to get special treatment, Ek said the company wants to get the same treatment as other digital services on the App Store. It added, "We want more app businesses to thrive - including the ones that compete with some aspect of our business, because they drive us to be better".

"Apple shouldn't be able to use their power to give themselves an unfair advantage - harming fans like you and companies like us", Spotify said. As for the Apple Watch, it said the claim was "especially surprising" because the Spotify Watch app is now the number one app in the Watch Music category. We fully support Spotify in wanting there to be a level playing field.

"If we pay this tax, it would force us to artificially inflate the price of our Premium membership well above the price of Apple Music", EK wrote.

Apple Music is also £9.99 monthly, (£4.99 for students or £14.99 for a six-person family account) but doesn't support a free version, but does allow you to listen to its inbuilt radio station Beats 1. "Spotify is asking to keep all those benefits while also retaining 100% of the revenue". "We think that's wrong".

Spotify believes this tactic is created to harm other businesses, especially other music streaming companies that are in direct competition with Apple's own Apple Music.

In the past, I've argued that the benefits of Apple's approach to the App Store outweigh the downsides.

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