Spotify filed an antitrust complaint in EU against Apple

Spotify filed an antitrust complaint in EU against Apple


Spotify has lodged a complaint against Apple with EU antitrust regulators alleging the iPhone maker to be involved in anti-competition practices and having a business model that limits its rivals to its own Apple Music streaming service by providing an unfair advantage.

Spotify, which commenced business in 2008, in its statement on Wednesday said that Apple’s control over its App store take the consumers away from their choice and deprive its audio streaming services competitors on the platform to the benefit of its own service of Apple Music, launched by Apple in 2015.

Spotify filed the complaint on Monday to the European Commission, which was mainly focused on the 30 percent fee charged by Apple, which it started charging in 2011, to the providers of content-based services for the use of in-app purchase system (IAP) of the Apple.

General Counsel of Spotify, Horacio Gutierrez, said that in 2014 Spotify under the constant pressure opted to offer in-app premium subscription, which it did not allow between 2011 and 2014, using Apple’s billing system and later on was forced to provide those services on an inflated rate raising it from 9.99 euros to 12.99 euros.

Afterward, Spotify stopped using Apple’s IAP system, which left its customers able to upgrade to the fee-based packages on indirectly mediums like on a laptop or PC.

App store rules not only restrict the content-based apps from including buttons or external links to pages with discounts, promotions or product information but also make it difficult for them to fix bugs whereas Android phones are exempted from such restrictions, Spotify said.

Apple refused to launch Spotify’s app on its Apple Watch and its voice assistant Siri would not connect the users to Spotify, it said.

Spotify did not say anything about the financial impact of the Apple practices but Gutierrez said that analysis submitted to the European Commission highlights that company could have done better than what it has done so far.

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I am a lecturer at the University of Economics in Bratislava, department of Banking and International Finance. I have a Ph.D. academic degree, my dissertation was focused on major markets. Commodities and stock markets are also the main focus of my research and publication activities. I have approximately 10 years of investing experiences. My investments mostly focus on small- to mid-cap companies of energy sector, financial and technology.