January 14th, 2019
Spotify Reacts to Apple’s Rejection to Spotify’s App Update. Calls It Unfair
Apple and Spotify made headlines last week, over Apple’s rejection to update Spotify’s app. The move which Spotify said is a measure to strengthen Apple Music by hurting competitors whereas Apple said it simply stuck to rules.
Horacio Gutierrez, General Counsel of Spotify mentioned in a letter sent to Apple’s top lawyer on June 26, that Apple gave “business model rules” as a reason for rejecting the update. But Gutierrez stated the move as anti-competitive.
According to Recode, he wrote “This latest episode raises serious concerns under both U.S. and EU competition law.” “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’s reason for rejection seems to rise from a promotion by which new subscribers could get Spotify for $0.99 from Spotify’s website. As per Recode, Spotify was trying to promote the campaign within the app when Apple warned to eliminate the app from its store. It is in the policies since 2011 that apps cannot convince users to sign-up for their services outside of an app. If any subscription service wishes to charge its users inside the app, then it has to use iTunes billing service. Apple keeps a 30% cut of in-app purchases.
According to Recode, as the streaming service assembled and stopped marketing inside the app, App store billing option is turned off.
As per a statement passed by Jake Ward, president and CEO of the Application Developers Alliance, Apple was “deliberately creating friction.”
He quoted “For the app marketplace to continue to thrive, users to have choices, and developers to have a competitive opportunity, platforms must give publishers clear and consistent guidelines.” “Platforms deliberately creating friction and obstacles between publishers and users is bad for business and ultimately hurts consumers.”