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Spotify Accuses Apple of “Discriminatory,” “Unfair” Business Practices

Spotify has filed an antitrust complaint against Apple with the European Commission, as CNBC reports. In a blog post, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek cited Apple’s “discriminatory tariffs” when it comes to their proprietary App Store, including a 30 percent “tax” imposed on any upgrades from Spotify’s Free to Premium service for iPhone users. Ek also decried “unfair restrictions on marketing and promotions that benefit consumers” when it came to reaching Spotify customers within the Apple ecosystem.

“We aren’t seeking special treatment. We simply want the same treatment as numerous other apps on the App Store, like Uber or Deliveroo, who aren’t subject to the Apple tax and therefore don’t have the same restrictions,” he wrote. “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.”

Apple have been accused of antitrust action in the past. In November 2018, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the long-running case Apple v. Pepper, in which a group of iPhone owners accused the company of monopolizing the market for iPhone apps, claiming the 30 percent commission is a monopoly rent. The ruling on that case is still pending.

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