Why Spotify, Other Media Firms Want the EU to Take Action Against Apple

Music streaming service Spotify, along with other media firms such as Deezer, urged the European Commission to take action against Apple for anticompetitive and unfair practices, in a joint industry letter on Wednesday.

The letter, addressed to the European Union antitrust regulator’s Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, demanded the Commission to act fast for the welfare of European consumers.

Spotify has for years accused Apple of abusing its market position using its App Store rules to stifle competition.

It has previously submitted antitrust complaints against Apple in various countries, alleging the 30 percent charge Apple requires developers to pay on its App Store has forced Spotify to “artificially inflate” its own prices.

“We are writing to you to call for swift and decisive action by the European Commission against anticompetitive and unfair practices by certain global digital gatekeepers, and Apple in particular,” read the letter, which was signed by chief executives of media firms Schibsted, Proton and Basecamp.

Spotify’s Chief Executive Daniel Ek had previously said the iPhone maker “gives itself every advantage while at the same time stifling innovation and hurting consumers”.

Apple did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Last month, Ek renewed his attack on Apple in a series of tweets alleging the iPhone maker “gives itself every advantage while at the same time stifling innovation and hurting consumers”. He had tagged a number of sympathetic business leaders in his 21-tweet thread, including Musk, Microsoft president Brad Smith, and Proton founder Andy Yen.

“So how much longer will we look away from this threat to the future of the internet? How many more consumers will be denied choice? There’s been a lot of talk. Talk is helpful but we need action,” Ek had tweeted.

© Thomson Reuters 2023


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