EU Will Investigate Apple after Spotify’s Complaint about Anti-Competitive Behavior

In March, Spotify went all out against Apple with its Time to Play fair campaign. In a detailed writeup and website, Spotify highlighted how Apple used its dominant position in the App Store to promote Apple Music over the competition. The move seems to have paid off as the EU has launched a formal antitrust investigation against Apple.

The investigation will start in the next few weeks but as these things usually go, it will take a fair bit of time to complete.

Spotify must be glad that it at least got the EU interested in how Apple is using the App Store for its own advantage even though it is not clear if the final result is going to be in its favor or not.

In its complaint to the EU and Time to Play Fair website, Spotify highlighted that Apple used to reject app updates which offered a better user experience. It mentioned how Apple used its position to offer Siri integration on the HomePod while not offering Spotify as an alternative.

To save the 30 percent commission that Spotify and other app developers need to pay Apple for IAPs, the music streaming removed the option from its app. This led Apple to bar Spotify from all direct communications with customers and ensure that it could not share any deals with customers.

Spotify has a timeline on the website highlighting Apple’s anticompetitive behavior from over the years.

Our Take

The results of the EU’s investigation will have major repercussions on the music streaming industry and how Apple treats its competition. What do you think the result of this investigation going to be?

[Via FT]