18 March 2019
Apple Inc has answered Spotify Technology SA’s complaint with EU antitrust regulators, and stated that the music streaming service “wants all the benefits of a free app without being free”. The response comes after Spotify has filed a complaint against the Cupertino giant for exploiting other companies by charging higher commission on app installs, forcing them to increase their prices or lose profits.
"Spotify has every right to determine their own business model, but we feel an obligation to respond when Spotify wraps its financial motivations in misleading rhetoric about who we are," the company wrote.
Spotify's main argument was that Apple's own music service, Apple Music, doesn’t have the same restrictions of its own app. "[A]pps should be able to compete fairly on the merits, and not based on who owns the App Store," wrote CEO Daniel Ek. "We should all be subject to the same fair set of rules and restrictions -- including Apple Music." It added that Apple has often stalled app updates and locked it out of Apple services, "such as Siri, HomePod and Apple Watch." Finally, it stated that the Cupertino giant had blocked communication with its own customers on things like special offers.
In response, Apple has criticised Spotify's treatment of musicians and artists. The company stated that it has approved nearly 200 app updates, and "the only time we have requested adjustments is when Spotify has tried to sidestep the same rules that every app follows."