Apple Using App Store Approval Process as a ‘Weapon’ Says Spotify

Spotify, the world’s leading streaming music company, has said in a letter sent this week to Apple’s top lawyer, that the Cupertino tech-giant is making it harder for them to compete by blocking a new version of their iPhone app, Recode reports. “Apple is causing grave harm to Spotify and its customers by rejecting an update to Spotify’s iOS app”, notes the letter sent by Spotify general counsel Horacio Gutierrez to Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell.

Spotify

According to the letter, Apple rejected a new version of the Spotify app citing “business model rules” and demanded that Spotify use Apple’s billing system if “Spotify wants to use the app to acquire new customers and sell subscriptions”. The letter further states that Spotify intends to use the standoff as ammunition in its fight over Apple’s rules governing subscription services that use its App store. Spotify has also distributed copies of the letter to some Congressional staff in Washington, D.C. 

“This latest episode raises serious concerns under both U.S. and EU competition law,” Gutierrez wrote. “It continues a troubling pattern of behavior by Apple to exclude and diminish the competitiveness of Spotify on iOS and as a rival to Apple Music, particularly when seen against the backdrop of Apple’s previous anticompetitive conduct aimed at Spotify … we cannot stand by as Apple uses the App Store approval process as a weapon to harm competitors.”

Yesterday, Senator Elizabeth Warren criticized Apple, Amazon and Google for what she called anticompetitive practices; Warren said that “Apple has long used its control of iOS to squash competition in music.”

Spotify has been arguing to various regulators in the U.S. and Europe for the past one year that Apple’s subscription policies effectively punish third-party music services that use Apple’s platform, in order to promote company’s own Apple Music service.

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  • Joe

    all app categories have to play by the subscription rules, not just music apps. not sure Spotify really has a leg to stand on here…

  • Stefan

    The problem is how do you deal with subscription model then your service is cross-platform? Not all users will subscribe over AppStore because, for example, they own many devices that run on various platforms(android, widnows, etc). If every platform was to force subscription from their platform then a user would have to subscribe from each device he/she owns.

  • Salinger

    I’d say they have a VERY strong leg to stand on. Imagine buying a refrigerator and having the store tell you that you had to go through their store to buy the food to put in it even though it was hugely more expensive. And that if the manufacturer of the fridge advertised the fact that you could buy groceries cheaper elsewhere, they’d force you to stop or wouldn’t sell your fridge any more.

    It’s ridiculous and bullying on a corporate level.

  • Ashley Mann

    Nothing more then 2 boys disguised as men, yet again, playing “mine is bigger then yours”. This is why we need more women CEO’s. She would put the foot down and say “no, follow the rules and you will do what you are told”.