Apple Responds To Spotify’s Allegation Of Unfair Business Practices

Earlier this week, Spotify sent a letter to Apple saying that they were “causing grave harm to Spotify and its customers” by rejecting an update to Spotify’s iOS app. The streaming service alleges that the technology giant rejected the app because they want to require Spotify to use Apple’s billing system for monthly subscription payments, which means that Apple collects a 30-percent service fee on each payment. (A newly instated revenue split for subscriptions means that an 85/15 split applies after users have kept a subscription for a year.) That hurts Spotify’s bottom line if they don’t raise said subscription fee for iOS users, which in turn could lead more people to subscribe to the (then cheaper) Apple Music. Spotify says that those tactics “amount to a violation of applicable antitrust laws.”

Apple has just responded in a letter provided to Buzzfeed News saying that the streaming company is asking for “special treatment” that other developers do not receive. The letter was written by Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell. Here’s some of his justification:

Our guidelines apply equally to all app developers, whether they are game developers, e-book sellers, video-streaming services or digital music distributors; and regardless of whether or not they compete against Apple. We did not alter our behavior or our rules when we introduced our own music streaming service or when Spotify became a competitor. Ironically, it is now Spotify that wants things to be different by asking for preferential treatment from Apple.

Apple also notes that the same revenue split applies to “other successful competitors like Google Play Music, Tidal, Amazon Music, Pandora, or the numerous other apps on the App Store that distribute digital music.”

Read Apple’s letter in full below.

In other Apple news, some rumors are swirling that the company is in talks to acquire Tidal.

UPDATE: Spotify’s communications head has addressed Apple’s letter on Twitter…

Tags: Apple, Spotify