Spotify Files Antitrust Complaint over Apples App Store Charges

Apple's bombshell and the trillion-dollar question
NOAH BERGER/AFP

Music streaming service Spotify has reportedly filed an antitrust complaint with the European Union over Apple’s app store, which charges 30 percent for subscriptions to streaming services like Spotify, which it calls a “tax.”

The Verge reports that music streaming service Spotify has filed an antitrust complaint against tech giant Apple with the E.U. related to the 30 percent cut that Apple takes from subscriptions made via their app store. Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek outlined in a blog post the issues that Spotify has with Apple, the music streaming service also started their own website called Time to Play Fair.

Ek believes that this app subscription “tax” is designed to harm streaming services that compete with Apple’s own services, such as Apple Music. Ek says that if Spotify were to pay this tax it would be forced to “artificially inflate” its prices “well above the price of Apple Music,” causing harm to the company’s business. Ek says that if the company doesn’t comply with Apple’s tax, it faces “a series of technical and experience-limiting restrictions,” on its app. Ek added that Apple “routinely blocks our experience-enhancing upgrades,” locking competitors out of Apple devices such as Siri, Apple Watch and Homepod.

Spotify’s complaint marks the first occasion on which Apple’s App Store has had an antitrust complaint publicly registered with the E.U., but companies have criticized Apple’s App Store charges since its launch in 2011. A spokesperson for the European Commission which handles antitrust complaints confirmed that they had received Spotify’s complaint, “which we are assessing under our standard procedures.”

Breitbart News will keep readers updated on this issue as the story develops.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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