Apple has issued a lengthy response to Spotify’s complaint before European Commission regulators, which was issued earlier this week. The iPhone maker dismisses it as “misleading rhetoric” that conceals its streaming competitor’s financial motives.
Spotify told the EC that Apple’s 30% “tax” on Spotify streams represents an “unfair advantage” that hinders competition. Other companies have long had the same issue with the environment of the App Store.
In its response, Apple called the App Store “a safe, secure platform where users can have faith in the apps they discover and the transactions they make. And developers, from first-time engineers to larger companies, can rest assured that everyone is playing by the same set of rules.” It added, “We want more app businesses to thrive — including the ones that compete with some aspect of our business, because they drive us to be better.”
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Spotify, Apple contends, is demanding a completely different environment for its app. “After using the App Store for years to dramatically grow their business, Spotify seeks to keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem — including the substantial revenue that they draw from the App Store’s customers — without making any contributions to that marketplace. At the same time, they distribute the music you love while making ever-smaller contributions to the artists, musicians and songwriters who create it — even going so far as to take these creators to court.”
The Swedish firm’s complaint, Apple said, “wraps its financial motivations in misleading rhetoric about who we are, what we’ve built and what we do to support independent developers, musicians, songwriters and creators of all stripes.” Apple then goes on at length rebutting specific elements of the Spotify claim.
While the action was taken in Europe because of where Spotify is based, U.S. companies are watching the case closely as it relates directly to many moving parts in the entertainment business. Apple is getting set for a major streaming video announcement on March 25, which is seen as its latest effort to increase revenue from services rather than devices, a strategic turn at the company of late.
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