Spotify made an announcement in its newsroom, revealing that the company has filed an antitrust complaint against the Cupertino tech giant with the European Commission.
According to Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek, the tech giant has enforced rules that is disadvantageous to app developers, causing limitations to app developers for a fair competition in the field. However, filing the complaint wasn’t Spotify’s first choice to break free from the limitations. Ek said, “After trying unsuccessfully to resolve the issues directly with Apple, we’re now requesting that the EC take action to ensure fair competition.”
Ek also explained that digital services like Spotify have to pay a 30% tax whenever there are purchases made through Apple’s payment system, and this includes Spotify users upgrading their Spotify memberships. In other words, anytime a user wants to upgrade their Spotify membership from Free to Premium, the music streaming service will have to pay a 30% tax. This in return leads to a price inflation of Spotify’s Premium membership, causing the company to be unable to fairly compete with the pricing of Apple’s own music streaming service, Apple Music.
Despite having an alternative of bypassing Apple’s payment system, Ek also expressed the futility in doing so; Apple will then implement various restrictions that causes limitation in communication among Spotify and its users. “Apple also routinely blocks our experience-enhancing upgrades. Over time, this has included locking Spotify and other competitors out of Apple services such as Siri, HomePod, and Apple Watch.”
Spotify is not only filing a complaint, as the company also posted a short video, revealing how Apple has been unfair and limiting the music streaming service. The video that has only been on YouTube for less than a day has already gotten 68,000 views and is titled “Time to Play Fair”.