This week Spotify celebrated its first birthday in South Africa but internationally things are a bit more serious.
The firm recently launched the Time to Play Fair website which doesn’t waste time calling Apple out for unfair practices.
At the core of Spotify’s complaint is the fact that users cannot upgrade their free Spotify account to a Premium version within the iOS app. Spotify can build that functionality into the app but, according to the firm, Apple would then require Spotify pay it 30 percent of each subscription.
Spotify would have to increase its prices to do this and as such, it’s not ken on doing that.
Of course Apple has its own streaming service, Apple Music, but it also controls the platform that other app makers use.
Spotify says that Apple is constantly moving the goal posts when it comes to what Spotify can and can’t do and explains its woes with the Cupertino giant in an exhaustive timeline.
So, Spotify has filed a complaint.
“After careful consideration, Spotify has filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission (EC), the regulatory body responsible for keeping competition fair and nondiscriminatory. In recent years, Apple has introduced rules to the App Store that purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience—essentially acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers. After trying unsuccessfully to resolve the issues directly with Apple, we’re now requesting that the EC take action to ensure fair competition,” Spotify founder, Daniel Ek wrote in a statement.
Ek emphasises that Spotify doesn’t want special treatment but rather that it be treated like Uber which doesn’t garner the same 30 percent tax.
“So, let me be clear that this is not a Spotify-versus-Apple issue. We want the same fair rules for companies young and old, large and small. It is about supporting and nurturing the healthy ecosystem that made our two companies successful in the first place,” Ek said.
The European Comission confirmed that it has received Spotify’s complaint with Wired but Apple is yet to comment on the matter.
This whole matter does have us wondering whether the likes of Netflix, Hulu and Showmax will face this alleged discrimination and increased fees should Apple decide to launch a streaming service. We’ll just have wait and see won’t we.