Spotify goes to war with Apple: Music streamer lodges EU complaint over ‘unfair music competition’
- Spotify has accused Apple of stifling competition in the online music market
- The Swedish music streaming giant has filed complaint with the EU Commission
- Spotify said it wasn’t looking for special treatment, just ‘same fair set of rules’
Spotify has submitted a complaint against Apple to the European Commission (EC) arguing that the iPhone maker gives itself an unfair advantage by charging digital app rivals a 30 per cent tax on purchases made through its software system iOS.
Spotify founder Daniel Ek accused Apple of introducing rules to the Apple Store that ‘purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience’.
Apple takes a 30 per cent cut of purchases made through its payment system, including upgrades from Spotify’s free to premium service, which Spotify claims is unfair given that Apple has its own streaming service, Apple Music.
Spotify has filed a complaint with the EU commission against its US rival Apple (stock image)
The tax does not apply if people subscribe through a non-Apple device, such as on a desktop, and then use the service afterwards on an Apple device.
Mr Ek said Spotify has resorted to sending a complaint to the regulatory body responsible for keeping competition fair in the EU, after trying to resolve the issue with Apple directly.
‘We aren’t seeking special treatment,’ he said in a blog post.
Spotify has accused Apple of stifling competition in the online music market (stock image)
‘We simply want the same treatment as numerous other apps on the App Store, like Uber or Deliveroo, who aren’t subject to the Apple tax and therefore don’t have the same restrictions.’
Technical and experience-limiting restrictions are imposed on Spotify that makes it difficult to communicate with customers if they choose not to use Apple’s payment system, Mr Ek added.
Spotify, launched in Sweden just over a decade ago, claims 207 million users in the world, of whom 96 million are paying subscribers.
Apple has been approached for comment.