Spotify files complaint against Apple's App Store rules

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 13, 2019 19:39 hrs
Apple (PTI photo)

San Francisco: Swedish music streaming giant Spotify said it has filed an antitrust complaint against Apple with the European Union (EU) alleging that the tech giant is harming consumer choice and stifling innovation via the rules it enforces on its iOS App Store.

"It's why, after careful consideration, Spotify has filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission (EC), the regulatory body responsible for keeping competition fair and non-discriminatory.

"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," Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

Cupertino-based Apple requires that Spotify and other digital services pay a 30 per cent tax on purchases made through Apple's payment system, including upgrading from a free to premium subscription.

According to Spotify, if it pays this tax, it would force it to artificially inflate the price of its premium membership well above the price of Apple Music.

"And to keep our price competitive for our customers, that isn't something we can do," added Ek.

The music streaming services giant has also started a press campaign, including a website dedicated to the iPhone maker's unfair behaviour and a YouTube video explaining the company's grievances.

Earlier this week, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, who recently launched her 2020 presidential bid, said she was in favour of passing laws that prevent large e-commerce platforms with a global annual revenue of $25 billion or more, from owning both the platform and any sellers on it.