Music streaming service, Spotify, has filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission, alleging unfair practices in relation to Apple’s App Store.
Spotify appears to be arguing that Apple has been using its power over the App Store to give their own products, such as Apple Music, an unfair advantage against competitors, thus harming competitor companies like Spotify.
Spotify has published a web page about the case, called “Time to Play Fair” which outlines information about its case and a timeline of Apple’s alleged discriminatory behaviour.
In particular, Spotify highlights three issues it sees in Apple’s behaviour:
- Apple denies consumers true choice by “arbitrarily” moving the goalposts and changing the rules competitor apps have to comply with,
- Apple imposes a discriminatory 30% “tax”, in that it requires app services to use the Apple payment system fee of 30%, which Spotify alleges Apple Music is not required to pay. This makes it more difficult for Spotify to compete on price.
- Apple’s actions are contrary to the law in that they prevent competition from working properly.
It appears that Spotify is claiming that other Apps which do not compete with Apple’s products, such as Deliveroo, or Uber, are not required to comply with the same rules. This will, no doubt, be a case to follow as it develops.
Please contact Tim Cowen if you have any queries regarding Spotify’s complaint.