Spotify reports Apple to European Union commission over rules which 'disadvantage' app developers


While Spotify is available for free via Apple, upgrading to its Premium tier service can now only be done via the internet.

The Verge reports that music streaming service Spotify has filed an antitrust complaint against tech giant Apple with the European Union related to the 30 percent cut that Apple takes from subscriptions made via their app store.

Writing in a blog post, Ek said Apple is acting "as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers" by bringing in new rules to its App Store that intentionally limit choice and constrain innovation.

Spotify and Apple Music are the two major players in the streaming music market: While Spotify's global paid subscriber total of 96 million is almost double Apple Music's 50 million, it was reported last summer that Apple Music has more United States subscribers.

A source told Business Insider that the difference is how Apple and Google behave with apps that circumvent their app-store fees.

Echoing complaints from other media companies, Spotify says Apple charges Spotify a 30% tax on purchases made through Apple's payment system.

However, if Spotify ditched Apple's payment system.

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"We should all be subject to the same fair set of rules and restrictions-including Apple Music", he said. If users upgrade to a paid Spotify subscription, Ek explains, and do so through Apple's payment system such as with an in-app purchase, Apple takes 30-percent of that. "After trying unsuccessfully to resolve the issues directly with Apple, we're now requesting that the EC take action to ensure fair competition".

Horacio Gutierrez, Spotify's general counsel, said the company was pressured into using the billing system in 2014, but then was forced to raise the monthly fee of its premium service from 9.99 to 12.99 euros, just as Apple Music launched at Spotify's initial 9.99 price.

Examples cited include limiting communications with Spotify customers and "routinely" blocking app upgrades.

Spotify wants Europe's competition watchdog to examine Apple for the way it runs the App Store.

Mashable has reached out to Apple for comment and we'll update this article when we hear from them. Then there were other issues, where Apple would not allow Spotify to have an Apple Watch app or work with Siri.

Consumers should have a real choice of payment systems, and not be "locked in" to one particular service. And Ek says that all app stores should not be allowed to control communications, including marketing and promotions, between services like Spotify and its customers.

The final complaint is increasingly restrictive conditions on how app makers can communicate with subscribers who sign up using the iPhone app. We want the same fair rules for companies young and old, large and small.