Popular music streaming service Spotify has sued Apple with the European Commission. It blames the App Store unfair poly as the reason for the battle. It has filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the tech giant and alleged that the iPhone makers are hurting consumer choices and strangling creativity through their restrictions that exist on the App Store.
Being a popular Swedish music streaming service, Spotify has chosen to file the lawsuit with the European Union instead of the US. In addition to its own struggles, it also echoes the complaints that the other media companies have been facing due to the App Store policies.
Well, the Spotify founder and CEO, Daniel Ek took to a blog post to announce about the lawsuit. He stated that they had to file a lawsuit as their previous attempts to settle the matter directly with Apple were not fruitful. Regarding this, he said, “After trying unsuccessfully to resolve the issues directly with Apple, we’re now requesting that the EC take action to ensure fair competition.”
Having said that, Spotify and Apple have entered a legal battle over the App Store regulations, here are the key reasons that have led the former to choose to resolve the dispute legally. These were revealed by the Spotify CEO on his blog post.
30% commission on App Store
In the blog post, Ek stated that he was upset with the 30% commission that has to be paid to Apple on every payment. Well, the App Store levies a tax of 30% on the purchases made through its payment system. As per Spotify, this is making it impossible for the other streaming services including itself to maintain a competitive pricing. This tax makes it relatively more expensive than Apple Music subscription.
Also, Spotify cites that a few other apps such as Deliveroo and Uber are not subjected to this policy and are not charged 30% tax by the App Store.
As of now, to stay away from hiking its premium subscription model’s cost, Spotify has asked users to turn off the automation subscription renewal via App Store and make direct payments on Spotify.com. This way, users can save a considerable amount of $3 per month. And, turning off the App Store billing option has made them face other technical issues.
Ek further stated that if they do not pay this tax, then Apple will apply a set of restrictions that will impact the overall experience of Spotify.
On the contrary, some iOS app developers do believe that it is worth paying 30% tax to the App Store as Apple checks the apps avoiding scams, which is a really time-consuming process.
Besides the tax, which makes them price their subscription model above that of Apple Music, Ek also blamed the App Store for blocking updates. Usually, apps receive updates to enhance the overall experience. It is cited that Apple regularly blocks updates preventing Spotify and other companies from making their services better. Also, they will be locked out from Apple services such as Siri, Apple Watch and Homepod.
Time to Play Fair
Besides filing the lawsuit, Spotify has launched a website and come up with a video dubbed Time to Play Fair to promote the cause. It lists facts about the anti-competitive behaviour of Apple and explains the position of Spotify on the same.
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