Apple faces Spotify antitrust complaint to EU over App Store

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Apple Music costs 9.99 euros ($11.28) a month, the price Spotify charges for direct subscriptions to its own website and used to charge on the App Store before Apple imposed its own payment system and extra levy.

Music-streaming service Spotify has filed a formal complaint against Apple this week, claiming that the iPhone maker has violated European Union competition rules by using numerous tactics to try and ice out competitors. This includes locking Spotify and other competitors out of Apple services such as Siri, HomePod, and Apple Watch.

Apple prohibits developers who don't use IAP from promoting paid offerings such as subscriptions inside their apps.

Spotify founder Daniel Ek says Apple gets away with the gambit by circumventing existing rules by governing "self-interested" promotion app stores and marketplaces of the like.

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Monday's official complaint marks a public escalation in the music-streaming service's long-running battle with Apple.

Spotify, which launched a year after the 2007 launch of the iPhone, said on Wednesday that Apple's control of its App store deprived consumers of choice and rival providers of audio streaming services to the benefit of Apple Music, which began in 2015.

In a statement from Spotify's counsel Horacio Gutierrez "We've consistently worked hard to play by the rules, even though we can never be sure when they will change, or how". "But in Apple's case, they continue to give themselves an unfair advantage at every turn", he said. The scale of the "Apple tax", he claims, forced his company to raise prices above the intended monthly fee at the same time that Apple itself was launching a competing service at that price point.

One example that Ek outlined in his written deposition, is the manner in which Apple taxes businesses that want to use their platform as a seller's market.

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Ek said he is asking the European Commission to take action only after he tried unsuccessfully to resolve the matter with Apple directly.

"If we pay this tax, it would force us to artificially inflate the price of our Premium membership well above the price of Apple Music", Spotify Chief Executive Daniel Ek (pictured) wrote in a blog post.

Spotify wants the same treatment as other App Store apps like Uber and Deliveroo, "who aren't subject to the Apple tax and don't have the same problems".

The complaint was prompted by "an accumulation of increasing restrictions that we believe are extreme", he said.

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We've reached out to both companies and will update if we hear back.

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