Apple Responds to Spotify's EU Antitrust Lawsuit for Unfair Practices

Apple says Spotify wants 'the benefits of a free app without being free'

The ongoing disagreement between Apple and Spotify seemed to come to a head earlier this week, when Spotify filed an antitrust complaint against Apple with the European Commission.

Apple slagged off Spotify's treatment of musicians and artists who did better because users had to give them a third of the costs of their music.

Apple today hit back at the claims made by Spotify which criticized it for its unfair business practices.

Apple's control of its App Store deprived consumers of choice and rival providers of audio streaming services to the benefit of Apple Music, which began in 2015, Spotify added.

Apple's statement begins with, "We share Spotify's love of music and their vision of sharing it with the world", before distancing itself.

It also said it had not hampered Spotify's ability to update its app unless the music service sought to "sidestep" the rules other apps follow.

The Swedish company has launched a website, outlining different ways in which Apple uses its power to make its platform an "uneven playing field".

Apple's statement mostly glosses over this point and instead criticises the streaming service for attempting to appeal a pay rise for songwriters.

Apple also went one step further, attacking how Spotify treats the musicians on its platform, claiming the company makes "ever-smaller" contributions to artists.


Its statement added that Apple has "reached out" to Spotify about support for its Siri and AirPlay 2 features "on several occasions", and that Spotify has "told us they're working on it, and we stand ready to help them where we can".

Apps that are free to you aren't charged by Apple.

However, Apple said Spotify left out the fact that the revenue share after the first year of annual subscription drops to 15 percent. Other companies have long had the same issue with the environment of the App Store. The company said that 84% of apps ultimately pay nothing to Apple before listing the ways apps can make money without having Apple take a cut. Or Apple is right to charge a certain fee for the uptake of the App Store?

"Even now, only a tiny fraction of their subscriptions fall under Apple's revenue-sharing model", it wrote. "Spotify is asking for that number to be zero". And we built a secure payment system - no small undertaking - which allows users to have faith in in-app transactions.

Spotify wouldn't be the business they are today without the App Store ecosystem, but now they're leveraging their scale to avoid contributing to maintaining that ecosystem for the next generation of app entrepreneurs.

Spotify also argued that when it tried to find a way around that revenue split, Apple treated it unfairly by preventing Siri integration with Spotify's service and blocking app updates.

"We think that's wrong", it said. Now Apple has taken a similar point-by-point approach in its rebuttal.

Spotify sued music creators after a decision by the US Copyright Royalty Board required Spotify to increase its royalty payments.

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