Spotify CEO speaks out against Apple with dedicated microsite and video

Spotify files antitrust complaint to Brussels against Apple

The first is a requirement introduced in 2011 that all iPhone app makers exclusively use Apple's payment system.

Apple should be probed by the European Union's antitrust agency over how it allegedly squeezes rival music streaming services, Spotify Technology SA said, escalating a debate over how Apple takes a cut of sales on its App Store.

Ek said that that should compete daily on merit, not based on who owns the App Store. In the US, Spotify covers these costs by charging people $12.99 per month for subscriptions completed via the App Store; it's $9.99 if you subscribe directly via Spotify's website and then sign in via the iOS app.

A source told Business Insider that the difference is how Apple and Google behave with apps that circumvent their app-store fees.

Spotify has been unhappy with its treatment by Apple for years, and filed an informal complaint with the Commission three years ago, said Jacques Lafitte at the Avisa consultancy in Brussels.

Spotify has filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Apple accusing the latter of following unfair and uncompetitive trade practices that not only harm the competition but also limits the choice consumers can make. In 2016, Spotify updated their payment policies to do just that, which caused Apple to respond by restricting app upgrades and limiting customer communication.

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In a statement from Spotify's counsel Horacio Gutierrez "We've consistently worked hard to play by the rules, even though we can never be sure when they will change, or how".

Spotify began emailing customers in 2015 that they should cancel subscriptions purchased through Apple's App Store. "After trying unsuccessfully to resolve the issues directly with Apple, we're now requesting that the European commission take action to ensure fair competition".

He goes on to explain that Spotify has tried to work out its dispute with Apple directly, to no avail.

Spotify argues that its complaint to regulators is not about seeking "special treatment" in its global music battle against Apple but the same treatment as numerous other apps such as Uber and Deliveroo, which are not subject to the 30% app store charge.

Ek says that because Spotify is forced to pay the "Apple Tax", it has to raise its price in the App Store above that of Apple Music. Apple "should not be allowed to control the communications between services and users, including placing unfair restrictions on marketing and promotions that benefit consumers", Ek writes. It also wants consumers to have a "real choice" of payment systems and not be locked in to using "discriminatory tariffs such as Apple's".

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