Music streaming service provider, Spotify, filed a lawsuit against Apple. The iPhone maker was accused of abusing their power as the owner of iOS
platform application store, AppStore, to cheat competitors.
Spotify is well-known as one of Apple Music competitor. Thus, it makes Apple as both “referee” and “player” in this matter, so they can do things that will benefit their own products.
More precisely, Spotify objected to Apple’s actions to charge 30% tax for in-app purchases made through Apple’s payment system, including payments for upgrading Spotify subscriptions from “Free” to “Premium”.
“To illustrate what I mean, let me share a few examples. Apple requires that Spotify and other digital services pay a 30% tax on purchases made through Apple’s payment system, including upgrading from our Free to our Premium service. 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. And to keep our price competitive for our customers, that isn’t something we can do,”CEO Spotify, Daniel Ek, complained in an article Spotify published on their site.
The 30% tax also seems forced. According to Ek, if developer choose not to use Apple’s payment system, forgoing the charge, Apple then applies a series of technical and experience-limiting restrictions on Spotify.
For example, they’re not allowing developers to send e-mail to customers who use Apple products. Apple also routinely blocks Spotify experience-enhancing upgrades. Over time, this has included locking Spotify and other competitors out of Apple services such as Siri, HomePod, and Apple Watch.
“It’s why, 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,” Ek added.
Want to be treated the same
As summarized form Wired, on Thursday (3/14), European Commission (EC) said they had received Spotify’s claim documents and was studying it. Apple itself hasn’t commented.
Spotify’s demand is actually simple, they just want Apple to compete fairly with competitors. All rules must apply equally to all applications, including Apple Music, which has always been their golden boy.
“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,” Ek finished.
Spotify is not the only party who feels disadvantaged by the payment cut from application store owner. The video streaming services Netflix, for example, now no longer open subscription registrations from the App Store and Google Play Store to avoid payment cut.
Then, there’s Fortnite developer, Epic, who leaves all application store platforms to distribute their own game personally. Their CEO, Tim Sweeney, has his own viewpoint about application store owner payment cut
“While 30% is a high tax for mobile game developers, 30% COMPLETELY BREAKS the economics of content distribution businesses like Netflix, Spotify, Kindle, and any digital stores that aim to compete,” said Sweeney on a tweet earlier 2019.
source : kompas.com