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More Woes For Apple As Spotify Files Complaint With EU

Days out from Apple rolling out a new and expanded content service the big iPhone maker has been hit with another complaint this time by arch rival Spotify.

The Swedish music streaming Company has filed a complaint with EU antitrust regulators against Apple, saying the iPhone maker unfairly limits rivals to its own Apple Music streaming service.

Spotify, which launched a year after the 2007 launch of the iPhone, said on Wednesday that 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.

What has upset Spotify as well as Netflix and is central to Spotify’s complaint, is a 30 percent fee Apple charges content-based service providers to use Apple’s in-app purchase system (IAP).

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.

Also being question is that Apple prevented content-based apps from including buttons or external links to pages with production information, discounts or promotions.

“Promotions are essential to our business. This is how we convert our free customers to premium,” Gutierrez told Reuters.

Voice recognition system Siri would not hook iPhone users up to Spotify and Apple declined to let Spotify launch an app on its Apple Watch, Spotify said.

Spotify declined to say what economic damage it believed it had suffered.

“We feel confident in the economic analysis we have submitted to the Commission that we could have done better than we have done so far,” Gutierrez said.

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