War Of The Techtans! Spotify Files EU Complaint Against Apple Stating Unfair Music Competition

Popular Swedish streaming giant Spotify has filed a complaint with the EU Commission against Apple, saying its US rival is stifling its competition in the online music market. It said in a statement that: “In recent years, Apple has 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.” The streaming site claimed that since Apple Music began in 2015, Apple controls of its App store has deprived consumers of choice and rival providers of audio streaming services to the benefit of their Music site. This complaint which was filed on Monday, March 11, also stated that Apple charges content-based service providers 30 percent fee to use Apple’s in-app purchase system (IAP). The general counsel of Spotify, Horacio Gutierrez, said the company was pressured into using the billing system in 2014, but then was forced to raise the monthly fee of its premium service from 9.99 to 12.99 euros, just as Apple Music launched at Spotify’s initial 9.99 price. This then instigated Spotify to ceased use of Apple’s IAP system, meaning Spotify customers could only upgrade to the fee-based package indirectly, such as on a laptop.Under App store rules, Spotify said, content-based apps could not include buttons or external links to pages with production information, discounts or promotions and faced difficulties fixing bugs. Such restrictions do not apply to Android phones, it said. Gutierrez added: “Promotions are essential to our business. This is how we convert our free customers to premium.” Spotify also shared that the Voice recognition system Siri would not hook iPhone users up to Spotify and Apple declined to let Spotify launch an app on its Apple Watch. Guttierez concluded by adding that: “We feel confident in the economic analysis we have submitted to the Commission that we could have done better than we have done so far.”Photo Credit: Getty

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