Spotify Bites Apple with EU Complaint
By Niki van den Heever
Swedish music streaming beast Spotify filed a formal complaint with the EU Commission against US rival, Apple. The accusation made was that Apple stifles its online music market competition.
Spotify founder and CEO, Daniel Ek said in a statement, “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,” he said, “… they (Apple) continue to give themselves an unfair advantage at every turn.”
Spotify is required to pay a 30% tax on purchases made through Apple’s systems, though Spotify declined to do as a method to avoid inflating the price of its premium membership to well above that of Apple. Explaining this further, Ek said, “… if we choose not to use Apple’s payment system, forgoing the charge, Apple then applies a series of technical and experience-limiting restrictions on Spotify.”, “… we should all be subject to the same fair set of rules and restrictions – including Apple Music.”
Spotify’s general council, Horacio Gutierrez added “This is not about Spotify picking a fight with Apple, but we feel like we had no other choice,”
As for the proceedings of the action, there is no guarantee that the EU’s executive arm will investigate the case, or even be quick about a decision whether to do so. However, Spotify would be allowed to challenge any rejection before the EU Court of Justice.