Spotify files complaint against Apple in Europe over ‘anti-competitive behavior’


This is turning out to be a big week for Spotify. After launching a special Hulu deal earlier this week, some more serious Spotify news has come out.

Spotify confirmed today that it’s filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission (EC). “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,” says Spotify CEO Daniel Ek. The company has tried to resolve its issues with Apple, Ek says, but it was unsuccessful.

As an example, Ek points out the 30 percent tax that Apple charges on purchases made in the App Store. Normally Spotify Premium costs $9.99 per month, but to cover this extra charge, Spotify asks $12.99 per month for Premium subscriptions through its iOS app. If Spotify chooses not to offer Premium subscriptions in this way, Apple “applies a series of technical and experience-limiting restrictions on Spotify”, says Ek.

Spotify Apple complaint

The Spotify CEO goes on to claim that Apple “routinely blocks our experience-enhancing upgrades” such as “locking Spotify and other competitors out of Apple services such as Siri, HomePod, and Apple Watch.”

Ek says that Spotify isn’t asking for special treatment, just that it get treated like apps such as Uber or Deliveroo, which aren’t subject to the extra 30 percent charge. He says that all apps should be subject to the same rules and restrictions, including Apple Music, and that consumers should have a “real choice of payment systems”. Finally, Ek says that app stores shouldn’t be able to control communications between services and customers, including placing restrictions on marketing and promotions.

Apple hasn’t issued a response to Spotify’s complaint. While we wait to see if it does, you can read Daniel Ek’s full announcement regarding Spotify’s EC complaint at the source link below.

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