The behind-the-scenes battle between Apple and Spotify was revealed last Wednesday when Apple CEO Tim Cook, as well as the heads of Amazon, Facebook, and Google, sat before the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law to discuss those accusations and how it treats competing apps like Spotify in its App Store.
Apple and Spotify… have clashed for years over how Apple handles Spotify’s apps, saying that the iPhone maker arbitrarily punishes the music streaming giant as a means to protect its own Apple Music and iTunes services.
That’s part of the reason Apple is now being investigated for potential antitrust violations by the Department of Justice, state attorneys general, and the House Judiciary Committee.
Documents presented during the hearing provide a deeper look at the issues between the firms and why Spotify has become one of the key contributors to the testimony against Apple.
The files come in the form of a written exchange between Apple vice president and general counsel Bruce Sewell and Spotify general counsel Horacio Gutierrez. In the documents, Sewell tells Gutierrez that a then-recent update to the Spotify app doesn’t comply with App Store guidelines because it provides users with a link that takes users outside of the app to Spotify’s own website where users can sign up for Spotify’s premium paid service.
According to Apple’s App Store rules, developers are not allowed to provide users with links from their apps to their own websites for transactions. Apple created the rule to ensure that the tech giant could still capture a cut of subscription sign ups in apps.
App developers can provide so-called “reader” apps in which users can access content they’ve purchased outside of the app, but the app itself can’t give a direct way for users to make such purchases.
MacDailyNews Take: Spotify knows the rules full well. The breached Apple’s clearly-stated rule on purpose in order to create a paper trail for their complaint.
Spotify is a money-losing enterprise that cannot compete and has already been eclipsed by Apple Music in the world’s No.1 market for recorded music, the United States of America. Seeing the writing on the wall, Spotify has run whining to the EU like little babies crying for mommy; not a shred of dignity left. Beleaguered Spotify predicts an operating loss of up to €195 million for the remaining two quarters of this year.
“This boils down to the fact that Spotify wants to use the platform that Apple built and maintains at great expense for free.” – MacDailyNews, March 13, 2019
Spotify is good at two things: Losing money and whining to authorities.