Apple hits back at Spotify for antitrust complaint

Friday, 15 March 2019, 13:11 Hrs
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Apple hits back at Spotify for antitrust complaint


Taking exception to Spotify's complaint with the European Union (EU) alleging that the iOS App Store rules are unfair, Apple has slammed the Swedish music streaming giant for wanting "all the benefits of a free app without being free".

"A full 84 per cent of the apps in the App Store pay nothing to Apple when you download or use the app. That's not discrimination, as Spotify claims," Apple said in a statement.

In its complaint with the EU, Spotify said that Apple requires it and other digital services pay a 30 per cent tax on purchases made through Apple's payment system, including upgrading from a free to premium subscription. 

According to Spotify, if it pays this tax, it would force it to artificially inflate the price of its premium membership well above the price of Apple Music. 

"And to keep our price competitive for our customers, that isn't something we can do," Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, wrote in a blog post this week.

Apple said its revenue share is 30 per cent only for the first year of an annual subscription. It drops to 15 per cent in the years after.

"The only contribution that Apple requires is for digital goods and services that are purchased inside the app using our secure in-app purchase system," Apple said, adding that building a secure payment system which allows users to have faith in in-app transactions was no small undertaking.

The Cupertino, California-headquartered tech giant also alleged that Spotify was also trying to squeeze the artists, musicians and songwriters -- not just the App Store.

"Just this week, Spotify sued music creators after a decision by the US Copyright Royalty Board required Spotify to increase its royalty payments. This isn't just wrong, it represents a real, meaningful and damaging step backwards for the music industry," Apple added in the statement.



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