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The battle between the two giants for the domain of music streaming will end before European antitrust. The Swedish company decided to move the clash from the market to the courts
The battle between Spotify and Apple for the domain of music streaming will end before European antitrust . The Swedish company decided to move the clash from the market to the courts. Reason? The 30% commission that Cupertino applies for transactions made on the Apple Store. Transactions including the upgrade to the Spotify Premium service. That is the subscription that allows you to eliminate advertising during the streaming.
The founder of Spotify Daniel Ek explained the reasons for this decision on the company’s blog . “Apple”, it reads, “is both the owner of iOS and the App Store and one of our competitors. In theory, that’s fine. But in the case of Apple, they continue to take unfair advantage ».
One of these “unfair advantage”, as Ek defines them, would be the fact that Cupertino requires “a 30% tax on purchases made through their payment system”. Sum that, argues the Spotify CEO , “artificially increases the price of our services far above that of Apple Music”, the music streaming service of the company led by Tim Cook. “To keep our prices competitive is something we cannot accept.”
Now, it is obviously more than legitimate that Apple asks a commission to companies that rely on its payment platform. The point, insists Ek, is the punitive mechanism that Cupertino would trigger for those who choose other ways of collecting. Apple, the number one Spotify insists, «limits our communication with customers. In some cases we are not even allowed to send emails to our customers using Apple. ” Also accused of “regularly blocking our updates”. And to have on more than one occasion “excluding Spotify and their other competitors outside services like Siri, HomePod and AppleWatch”.
Three, therefore, the requests, summarized also on the Timetoplayfair.com portal . First , apps “should be able to compete on merit and not based on who owns the store”. Second , “consumers should be able to choose which payment system to use”. Third, “stores should not control communications between apps and users”.
So far the words of Ek. Accusations of which, Apple has responded by stating that “after using the App Store for years to grow their business, now Spotify wants to continue to ensure the benefits of a presence in our store without offering any contribution this platform ».
It’s not all. Cupertino responds blow for blow to the accusations started by Sweden . Compared to that of having blocked updates, «we have approved and distributed almost 200, for a total of over 300 million downloads of their app. The only time we asked for changes was when Spotify tried to circumvent the rules followed by all other applications “.
In terms of integrations with other services, “we contacted them several times compared to Siri and AirPlay 2, offering our support”. Not to mention that “Spotify is integrated into CarPlay”. Rather, “their words surprised us about Apple Watch. When they sent us their application in September 2018, we approved it with the same procedure and speed reserved for every other application. Indeed Spotify is currently the number 1 app in the Watch Music category ».
Furthermore, compared to the 30% commission , «Spotify forgets to mention that it is only valid for the first year. And it drops to 15% in the following ones ». Just as it omits to say that “a significant part of their customers is such thanks to their partnership with telephone companies. And this does not generate any commission on the App Store, but requires Spotify to pay a commission to these realities “.
Apple insists that “Spotify would not be what it is without the App Store ecosystem. Now, after having climbed the market, they don’t want to contribute to maintaining this ecosystem for the next generation of developers “. But it’s not just «the App Store what they are trying to squeeze. The same applies to the artists ».
The reference to the fact that «just this week, the Swedish company has sued some artists after the US Copyright Royalty Board has imposed an increase in an increase in the royalties that Spotify has to pay them». Which, Cupertino concludes, “is not only wrong, but represents a real step backwards for the music industry”. On the contrary, “our approach has always been to make the cake grow”. It is up to the European antitrust authority to decide to whom and in what quantities they should eat it.