Apple: Spotify wouldn't be where it is today without us

Brunilde Fioravanti
Marzo 15, 2019

In a blog Daniel Ek, co-founder of the music-streaming service, said it had made a decision to file its anti-trust complaint because Apple had changed App store policies to "purposely limit choice and stifle innovation".

In an impassioned statement, Apple points out how many jobs have been created through the App Store.

The iPhone maker added that the App Store has generated $120 billion United States dollars for developers while offering users a secure platform and that Spotify is seeking to sidestep the rules that every other app follows. Apple says that even apart from the App Store, Spotify is paying lesser and lesser contributions to artists, musicians and songwriters and even taking them to the court.

In its response to Spotify's complaints, Apple said it doesn't charge for distributing free apps and only takes the 30 percent from paid subscriptions on its platform.

"Spotify wants all the benefits of a free app without being free", it said.

"Let's be clear about what that means".

Spotify told the EC that Apple's 30% "tax" on Spotify streams represents an "unfair advantage" that hinders competition.

"Spotify is free to build apps for - and compete on - our products and platforms, and we hope they do", it added.

"The only time we have requested adjustments is when Spotify has tried to sidestep the same rules that every other app follows", Apple said in a statement. And we built a secure payment system - no small undertaking - which allows users to have faith in in-app transactions.

"In a long statement published on its website, Apple laid out why it thinks Spotify wants to keep all the benefits of a free app on the App Store, without being free". When it did eventually give in and accept Apple's in-app purchases rules, Apple Music launched at a lower price that Spotify couldn't meet because of the App Store's revenue split model. "They're leveraging their scale to avoid contributing to maintaining that ecosystem for the next generation of app entrepreneurs", Apple writes. "We think that's wrong", Apple claimed. It added that Apple had often stymied it on app updates and locked it out of Apple services, "such as Siri, HomePod and Apple Watch". A similar antitrust case about potential overreach in Apple's walled garden-Apple v.

The fees Spotify criticised were levied when programs used Apple's own in-app secure purchasing system, it said.

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". "Underneath the rhetoric, Spotify's aim is to make more money off others' work". While Apple will still benefit if their appeal is successful and lower rates are set, the company has nevertheless taken a stand appreciated by publishers in the US. It claimed the tech giant has, over the past few years, "introduced rules to the App Store that purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience - essentially acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers".

Apple Music accepted the new CRB rates, while Spotify, Amazon, Pandora and Google appealed against them.

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