Spotify Says Apple is Holding up App Update Because it Doesn’t Want Apple Music Competition


Spotify has been taking swings at Apple for quite a while now, especially with the arrival of Apple’s music streaming platform, Apple Music.

Just yesterday Spotify reiterated its stance against Apple’s subscription royalty fees in the App Store, and now, as reported by Recode, the company is saying Apple’s going even above and beyond just taking a royalty for apps sold in its App Stores, and actually preventing an app update because Apple doesn’t want competition.

Spotify has submitted a new version of its popular app to Apple, and it’s taking away the option to subscribe to the service through the iOS app. However, according to Spotify, Apple has rejected the app’s update, and in turn Spotify wrote a letter to Apple’s legal team on June 26. Some parts of that letter have been shared in the original report, and it outlines Spotify’s belief that Apple is effectively trying to remove any competition for Apple Music.

The details aren’t exactly known at this point, but Spotify says that Apple has demanded it use Apple’s billing system if it “wants to use the app to acquire new customers and sell subscriptions.” Spotify says it was using its iOS app to promote a promotion that gave new subscribers three months of access for only $0.99, which apparently Apple wasn’t a fan of.

Apple informed Spotify that it had to remove the advertisement or the app would be pulled from the App Store altogether. Spotify did remove the ad, but it also decided to remove the option to subscribe to Spotify through the iOS App Store — which Spotify has to charge $12.99 per month, instead of the $9.99 per month for other customers that don’t subscribe through the iOS App Store, to see the same return after Apple’s royalty is taken out.

“This latest episode raises serious concerns under both US and EU competition law,” Gutierrez wrote. “It continues a troubling pattern of behavior by Apple to exclude and diminish the competitiveness of Spotify on iOS and as a rival to Apple Music, particularly when seen against the backdrop of Apple’s previous anticompetitive conduct aimed at Spotify…we cannot stand by as Apple uses the App Store approval process as a weapon to harm competitors.”

Apple has announced changes to the way it handles subscriptions and royalties, but Spotify has already confirmed that it isn’t a fan of those changes, either. In fact, earlier in June Spotify was urging iPhone customers to not subscribe to the service through the iOS app, basically pointing them to subscribe by other means.

What do you think of Spotify’s and Apple’s ongoing issues?

[via Recode]