The fight to be crowned king of streaming continues as Spotify and Apple Music duke it out March 13. The most recent development comes after Spotify founder Daniel Ek and his team filed a complaint against Apple alleging “unfair advantages” in regards to Apple’s App Store. After “careful consideration” and what seems like previous efforts to resolve the conflict with Apple, the Spotify team proceeded forward with the European Commission.
Spotify’s complaint centers around the issue of Apple’s App Store policies and logistics that would require Spotify to pay a supplementary tax and subsequently inflate the membership price above that of Apple Music.
“Apple requires that Spotify and other digital services pay a 30 percent tax on purchases made through Apple’s payment system, including upgrading from our free to our premium service,” Ek said. “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.”
The Spotify founder also pointed out discrepancies where apps like Uber were not affected by Apple’s tax policies, noting that “app stores should not be allowed to control the communications between services and users, including placing unfair restrictions on marketing and promotions that benefit consumers.”
Ek made it clear that this is not a “Spotify-versus-Apple issue,” but rather an issue about “competition on the merits.”