Apple vs Spotify: A commission conflict in the App Store

The dispute between Apple and Spotify has once again made the headlines, this time in the context of a possible fine of 500 million euros to Apple by the European Commission, for violations related to access to streaming music services. Apple has responded to ongoing complaints from Spotify, its competitor in the music streaming market, arguing that Spotify seeks unlimited access to Apple’s tools and services without compensating the company for the value they get from the App Store.e

With the European Commission evaluating the dispute, Spotify is seeking to change rules that favor Apple, arguing that these practices harm both competitors and consumers in the music streaming space.

Spotify against App Store Rules

Since 2015, Spotify has been in talks with the European Commission, trying to convince the EU that Apple’s policies harm music streaming services by restricting their ability to offer direct subscriptions to users without going through the purchasing system. integrated from Apple and, therefore, without paying the corresponding commission. Despite multiple reviews and approaches in the Commission’s investigation, the crux of the conflict centers on Apple’s anti-circumvention rules, which limit apps’ ability to inform users about the lowest available subscription prices. outside the App Store.

Apple’s Defense

Apple maintains that the music streaming market is growing, contradicting Spotify’s claims about a damaged competitive environment. The company claims that Spotify wants to rewrite the rules of the App Store for its own benefit, seeking to access Apple’s technology, its reach in the App Store, and monetize through the platform without offering any compensation to Apple. According to Apple, Spotify’s efforts to change the App Store rules are not about competition or seeking a better deal for consumers, but simply about getting a better deal for themselves.

The Position of the European Commission

The European Commission has noted that Apple’s anti-ring rules are harmful to users of music streaming services on Apple mobile devices, potentially causing confusion and resulting in higher prices for consumers. However, Apple believes this view is misguided and has been largely influenced by Spotify’s ongoing complaints.

Apple is defending its App Store rules against accusations from Spotify and the European Commission, insisting that the dispute is a matter of fair compensation for the value Spotify derives from its ecosystem.

Spotify’s response

On the other hand, Spotify argues that it is not on equal terms with Apple and trusts that the European Commission will take measures to create a fair ecosystem. The company criticizes Apple’s current rules for controlling Spotify’s access to its own customers and for imposing unfair restrictions that favor Apple’s music service while hindering its competitors.

The antitrust battle between Apple and Spotify is far from over, especially with the expectation of action from the European Commission. As this dispute unfolds, important questions are being raised about the balance between platforms’ control over their ecosystems and competitive fairness in the digital marketplace.

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