Spotify Files Complaint Over Apple Music's Tax Claiming "Unfair Advantage"
On Wednesday, Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek announced that he and his team had decided to file a complaint against Apple with European Commission (EC) antitrust regulators. According to a report in Bloomberg, Spotify demanded that Apple should be probed by the European Union’s antitrust agency.
In a statement released on the Spotify blog and in a Time to Play Fair web post, Ek alleged that Apple Music competes directly against Spotify and “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.”
Ek states that Apple requires Spotify and other digital services to pay a 30 percent tax on purchases made through Apple’s payment system, including the upgrade from Spotify’s free service to its premium one.
“If we pay this tax, it would force us to artificially inflate the price of our Premium membership well above the price of Apple Music,” Ek added. “And to keep our price competitive for our customers, that isn’t something we can do.”
He stated that not using the Apple payment system would result in “technical and experience-limiting restrictions” for Spotify users, saying, “they limit our communication with our customers – including our outreach beyond the app. In some cases, we aren’t even allowed to send emails to our customers who use Apple. Apple also routinely blocks our experience-enhancing upgrades. Over time, this has included locking Spotify and other competitors out of Apple services such as Siri, HomePod, and Apple Watch.”
Ek says Uber and Deliveroo aren’t subjected to the same terms, which he refers to as “the Apple tax,” and that Spotify should be treated the same.
Source: USA Today