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Spotify Asks the European Commission to Make Apple Play Fair

Apple has been kicking music-streaming service Spotify around for years, and Spotify is fed up. On a new Web site called Time to Play Fair, Spotify offers a timeline of its interactions with Apple, documenting how Apple’s self-serving behavior with the App Store puts Spotify at a disadvantage against Apple Music. Spotify says that Apple has repeatedly rejected updates to its iOS app after Spotify withdrew from using Apple’s in-app purchase system, which gave Apple a 30% cut of the subscription charges. As a Swedish company, Spotify is calling on the European Commission to “ensure a level playing field.”

With Spotify’s move coming on the heels of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s proposal to break up the tech giants (see “Big Tech Attracts Antitrust Attention from Senator Elizabeth Warren,” 12 March 2019) and a British panel calling for stricter antitrust rules, companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google would do well to examine the behaviors that are setting off what could become a significant regulatory backlash.

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Comments About Spotify Asks the European Commission to Make Apple Play Fair

Notable Replies

  1. I can’t help but notice the timing of this announcement immediately proceeds Apple’s recently announced “It’s Show Time” press event:

    This past summer Apple Music overtook Spotify in paid subscriptions in the US:

    Spotify has been forcing customers to not renew via the App Store for quite some time, but this strategy is obviously is not working to their satisfaction:

    Netflix has a similar work around to avoid the %, but they haven’t gone screaming and kicking to the EU or teamed up with Spotify, at least not yet.

    Among the reasons why the App Store continues to be wildly successful is that people trust it with their credit card info, it’s easy to use, and people like that apps are vetted for safety, security and privacy. If I remember correctly, Apple has sometimes held up Spotify app updates for not adhering to App Store requirements a few times in the past, and they accused Apple of doing so to kill competition. And now Apple is about to unveil streaming video and publishing subscription services as siblings to Music and News. This will very likely make The Spotify/Hulu with commercials subscription deal, which hasn’t exactly been wildly successful, look even more anemic to consumers.

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