The rivalry between Spotify and Apple has taken a legal turn. The audio streaming giant has filed an antitrust complaint with the European Commission against Apple, claiming its App Store purposely limits choice and stifles innovation at the expense of the user experience.

In a post, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said his company decided to file the complaint against the California giant after careful consideration.

Ek said, “[Apple] is essentially acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers.

“After trying unsuccessfully to resolve the issues directly with Apple, we’re now requesting that the EC take action to ensure fair competition.”

Spotify is one of the many giant technology companies to speak out against Apple but according to TechCrunch is the first to file a formal complaint over how Apple treats its developers.

Ek notes Spotify has tried to resolve its issues with Apple but says it’s now asking the European Commission to ensure fair competition.

He writes that Apple continues to give themselves an unfair advantage at every turn. He explains saying Apple asks Spotify and other digital services pay a 30 per cent tax on purchases made through Apple’s payment system, including upgrading from its free service to premium.  

The Spotify head said if the company pays the tax it would force them to “artificially inflate” the price of the premium membership which will be more expensive than Apple Music.

Ek is asking for three changes from the Europe Commission, firstly apps should be able to compete fairly on the merits not based on who owns the App Store.

Secondly consumers should have a choice of payment systems and shouldn’t be locked in or forced to use systems with discriminatory tariffs such as Apple’s.

Lastly, app stores should not be allowed to control the communications between services and users, including placing unfair restrictions on marketing and promotions that benefit consumers.

Spotify has created a site called Time To Play Fair which highlights what Apple does that they deem unfair and the changes that need to happen.

Previous post

Consultancy Partners in Performance taps Gerd Schenkel to lead new digital practice

Next post

Pegasystems appoints new VP to lead ANZ

Join the digital transformation discussion and sign up for the Which-50 Irregular Insights newsletter.