Behind-the-scenes battle between Apple and Spotify revealed

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.

Behind-the-scenes battle between Apple and Spotify revealed. Image: Apple Music
Apple Music

Daniel Howley for Yahoo Finance:

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.


  1. The number one thing I don’t like about Apple Music is that it destroys my high quality library including the album cover artwork when I turn on library syncing which is necessary to add AM songs to my library. And I cannot choose which devices should be synced – it’s all of them or nothin. This really sucks. A few of the things that happened: I had special versions of songs ripped and AM replaced them with the regular versions. Albums I created from single downloads (eg. Soundtrack of Christine) were rearranged back to the original downloads and the album cover was replaced. Other album covers were replaced and I could hardly find an album anymore because I couldn’t remember the artist or title but only the cover.
    The second thing I don’t like is that Apple doesn’t offer the option of Lossless. I’m not an audiophile but on a good sound system you can hear quite a difference.

    1. Agree on all points. Music library is a mess with art work which is not correct… I don’t even bother attempting to fix it any longer. Apple Music is half baked solution..

    2. All reasons why I won’t use library syncing or Apple Music besides the occasional free trial. It’s still not as good as Beats Music was when they axed it half a decade ago. I’d much rather have a dedicated Music Library app, what they have now is a convoluted mess.

  2. Apple started their App marketplace a long time ago and they set the rules for those who operate within their walled safe zone. Even hospitals don’t allow just any MD to enter the premises and perform illegitimate or non-compliant surgeries. Despite the fact that they have MD credentials and made it through med school, each hospital sets their own rules and limits—and a surgeon must have authorized access and follow strict rules.

    Spotify; start your own App Store and set your own rules. Apple protects its users and maintains their trust. Sometimes it isn’t convenient but we don’t want to get hacked or have naked celebrity photos stolen and turned loose onto the World Wide Web.

    1. Start your own App store? For iDevices? You know the problem with that, right?
      When a company can write rules for their competitors, that is a trust violation. When it was Microsoft doing this, I’m sure MDN understood that.

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