Apple hits back at 'misleading' Spotify antitrust complaint

15 March, 2019, 23:42 | Author: Cecil Buchanan
  • Spotify claims Apple’s 30% cut of revenue is effectively a tax on competitors

On Wednesday, Spotify filed an antitrust complaint in Europe claiming that Apple's App Store policies give Apple an unfair advantage in favour of Apple's own music streaming service, Apple Music.

Apple's control of its App Store deprived consumers of choice and rival providers of audio streaming services to the benefit of Apple Music, which began in 2015, Spotify added. The Cupertino company says that with the App Store, it is offering a safe and secure platform to users and developers alike with the same set of rules for all.

Apple even discloses that the majority of Spotify customers use its ad-supported plan which does not make any contribution to the App Store.

The statement then takes Spotify to task for some of its "misleading rhetoric".

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek complained that Apple makes digital services "pay a 30 percent tax on purchases made through Apple's payment system".

While Apple charges 30 percent digital revenue in the first year, it's 15 percent after that, it said, noting that Spotify has a double-standard about revenue-sharing.

Apple hit back at Spotify's European Union antitrust complaint, saying it "wants all the benefits of a free app without being free".

"To illustrate what I mean, let me share a few examples".

Apple tore into Spotify in response to the music streaming service's European Union antitrust complaint.

"We've approved and distributed almost 200 app updates on Spotify's behalf, resulting in over 300 million downloaded copies of the Spotify app", Apple wrote in response. And we built a secure payment system - no small undertaking - which allows users to have faith in in-app transactions. "Spotify is asking to keep all those benefits while also retaining 100 percent of the revenue", continued Apple. The only time Apple refused an update was when Spotify tried to sidetrack the App Store rules.

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"We think that's wrong", it said. The scale of the "Apple tax", he claims, forced his company to raise prices above the intended $US9.99 ($14) per month at the same time that Apple itself was launching a competing service at that price point.

Apple's approach has always been to grow the pie.

But the gloves really came off at the end of Apple's statement. "In fact, the Spotify Watch app is now the No. 1 app in the Watch Music category".

Sixteen years ago, we launched the iTunes Store with the idea that there should be a trusted place where users discover and purchase great music and every creator is treated fairly.

Apple also slammed Spotify for aiming to "make more money off others' work", including that of "artists, musicians and songwriters".

The company expressed surprise about Spotify's Watch app claim, saying "we reviewed and approved it with the same process and speed with which we would any other app".

The war of words between Apple and Spotify are quickly escalating.

The iPhone maker said Spotify "wraps its financial motivations in misleading rhetoric" and its treatment of artists is a "damaging step backwards for the music industry".

Writing on the Verge news site, Sam Byford said Apple had only addressed some of Spotify's criticisms.

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