Spotify leads call for investigation into ‘troubling’ Apple and Google app store practices

“Spotify and a host of European internet businesses have called on Brussels to crack down on what they see as troubling practices by the likes of Apple and Google,” Duncan Robinson and Madhumita Murgia report for The Financial Times. “Big internet platforms ‘can and do abuse their privileged position,’ according to a letter signed by the chief executives of Spotify, music streaming rival Deezer and German start-up investor Rocket Internet among others.”

“Although the letter to the European Commission does not cite the Silicon Valley giants by name, it complains that some mobile operating systems, app stores and search engines have evolved from ‘gateways’ into ‘gatekeepers’ — effectively hindering rivals from competing with their own services,” Robinson and Murgia report. “The letter comes in the midst of a debate inside the commission around overhauling digital policy, with new proposals due later this year aimed at addressing allegedly unfair contractual clauses enforced by big platforms.”

“Common complaints from the companies include not being able to access customer data when they sign up through an app store, as well as big companies promoting their own services over [those of] third parties,” Robinson and Murgia report. “The letter comes after a row between Spotify and Apple last year, when the streaming company accused the iPhone maker of blocking updates to its iOS app, citing ‘business model rules.’ It claimed this was done maliciously in order to promote its own music product, Apple Music.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Perhaps the EU should look inward and ask itself why it can’t create its own big platforms like Apple and its semifast-followers Google (mobile; iOS knockoff) and, for that matter, Microsoft (desktop; Mac knockoff)?

It is just bad luck or is it a stifling centralized bureaucracy that’s resulted in EU companies being unable to go big and achieve their own “privileged positions,” instead being parasitic whining babies reduced to crying to mommy?


  1. But wait – I thought Spotify has all those paying users – they say way more than Apple Music so if they are doing so good why the complaint? Maybe they are not being honest about their paid user base.

    1. Why would you say that? They both have a ton of music and the music is just as easy to find – they are quite similar but I find Apple Music much more inviting and easier to find new and different music/artist.

    2. How so? Apple Music has MORE music, better exclusives, and Beats 1, to name just three advantages. Apple could buy Spotify 30 times over. There is no way Spotify can compete over time.

      1. Beats 1 is pure unlistenable garbage..Iovine Music will never get a cent from me. Spotify’s UI and search is light years better than Apple Music/iTunes (barf).

        1. Nobody is forcing Apple Music subscribers to listen to Beats 1. You can go right to their large and growing catalog. Apple Music does has a good number of programs that are quite different than Beats 1. So I don’t get your grip.

  2. Want to control your product, build your own OS. Want to play on someone else’s software, live with what they want to do. It’s not rocket science.

    It’s like me building a specialized bike rack for a Ford Explorer, and then blasting Ford for building their own, making patents for their own latching system and crying to the Government that Ford is cutting me out of business to build my stuff on their car.

    Stupid. Absolutely stupid. But it is a sign that Spotify and others are losing to Apple. I’ll take that with a smile.

  3. Spotify should just go out and develop it’s own Mobile Operating System if they do not like working on iOS and Android. I hear Microsoft has a phone OS just laying around doing nothing.

  4. “It is just bad luck or is it a stifling centralized bureaucracy that’s resulted in EU companies being unable to go big and achieve their own “privileged positions,” instead being parasitic whining babies reduced to crying to mommy?”

    Or another possibility, corruption…
    It’s too easy for officials of such a powerful “gatekeeper” org to use their authority for personal gain.

    1. Maybe yes, maybe no. But it is an observation worth reflecting on. If the EU is to thrive it needs to address this. Otherwise, the U.K. may not be the last country to exit.

  5. Spotify = Swedish
    Linux = Finnish (Linus Thorvalds, University of Helsinki)
    WWW = Also European invention (Sir Tim Berners-Lee, CERN)

    Just to mention few.

    European Union happens to be worlds largest economy with over half a billion people.

    Trump and his wifes imported from Europe and thank you, you can keep them. He wants to make Americans Great again = even fatter = sicker than ever = poor with 4 jobs to pay the hospital bills.

    It is good that we are not a third class country like USA. We have free health and dental care in every country plus free education all the way to the university.

    1. Not free. You pay for it. What you mean that every citizen has access to these things.

      I wise man once said, “If you can’t say what you mean, how can you mean what you say?”

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