Apple strikes back at Spotify


"It's why, after careful consideration, Spotify has filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission (EC), the regulatory body responsible for keeping competition fair and nondiscriminatory".

Shortly after Spotify revealed it was filing an antitrust complaint against Apple in Europe, the Cupertino company has responded with a point-by-point rebuttal.

The iPhone maker said the App Store contributed to Spotify becoming the business it is today, a public company that generates over a billion dollars of revenue per quarter, according to a statement on Friday.

Revenue generated by premium users who paid for the ad-free tier of Spotify through the app store, according to Ek, was subsidizing Apple with 30 per cent of that fee.

The Swedish firm's complaint, Apple said, "wraps its financial motivations in misleading rhetoric about who we are, what we've built and what we do to support independent developers, musicians, songwriters and creators of all stripes". 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. Apple countered that the revenue sharing at that level only applies during the first year of an annual subscription - Spotify, it said, "left out that it drops to 15 percent in the years after".

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In the letter, Apple accused Spotify of being stingy, saying they want to enjoy the benefits the App Store ecosystem provides without paying into it. When all of that is taken into account, Apple says, "only a tiny fraction of their subscriptions fall under Apple's revenue sharing model". The company also points out that Spotify's Watch app is now the number one app in the Watch Music category.

Apple took issue with Ek saying Spotify and others had been locked out of services like Siri, HomePod and Apple Watch. It also hits back at Spotify's claim that Apple blocked it from launching an Apple Watch app in the past.

Just this week, Spotify sued music creators after a decision by the US Copyright Royalty Board required Spotify to increase its royalty payments. We share critical software development tools to support Spotify's app building. "We think that's wrong", Apple claimed.

Apple finally hammers home its message by arguing that Spotify would not be where it is today without the App Store. Similarly, most Spotify customers join the platform via partnerships with mobile carriers which again does not help the App Store in any way. "And it's not just the App Store that they're trying to squeeze - it's also artists, musicians and songwriters", it said. A similar antitrust case about potential overreach in Apple's walled garden-Apple v. By creating new marketplaces, we can create more opportunities not just for our business, but for artists, creators, entrepreneurs and every "crazy one" with a big idea.

Apple controls what's allowed into its app store and how those programs can interact with its users, but it also competes with streaming music providers directly via Apple Music.