Apple Rips Spotify Complaint In Europe As "Misleading Rhetoric"

Apple strikes back at Spotify

Shortly after Spotify revealed it was filing an antitrust complaint against Apple in Europe, the Cupertino company has responded with a point-by-point rebuttal.

In an impassioned statement, Apple points out how many jobs have been created through the App Store.

On Spotify's claim that Apple imposes a "30% discriminatory tax", Apple notes that a large portion of Spotify users are on the free version of the app and that many of its premium subscribers come from partnerships with telco. It also criticizes Spotify for wanting to take advantage of the reach that the App Store makes possible, without wanting to give anything back.

Spotify wouldn't be the business they are today without the App Store ecosystem, but now they're leveraging their scale to avoid contributing to maintaining that ecosystem for the next generation of app entrepreneurs.

The Swedish firm's complaint, Apple said, "wraps its financial motivations in misleading rhetoric about who we are, what we've built and what we do to support independent developers, musicians, songwriters and creators of all stripes".

However, Apple said Spotify left out the fact that the revenue share after the first year of annual subscription drops to 15 percent.

In response, Apple said it had approved and distributed almost 200 app updates on Spotify's behalf, resulting in over 300 million downloaded copies of the Spotify app.

"Let's be clear about what that means".

Spotify, which offers both free and paid services, complained to the European Union's powerful antitrust agency that Apple's 30 percent cut of revenue was effectively a tax on competitors.

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"We've approved and distributed almost 200 app updates on Spotify's behalf, resulting in over 300 million downloaded copies of the Spotify app", Apple wrote in response.

Apple's statement begins with, "We share Spotify's love of music and their vision of sharing it with the world", before distancing itself. And we built a secure payment system - no small undertaking - which allows users to have faith in in-app transactions.

Spotify also argued that when it tried to find a way around that revenue split, Apple treated it unfairly by preventing Siri integration with Spotify's service and blocking app updates. "We think that's wrong".

Apple said Spotify has informed it of plans to integrate the music streaming service with Siri and that Apple is "ready to help" as appropriate.

Spotify declined to comment on Apple's response.

Apple also slammed Spotify for aiming to "make more money off others' work", including that of "artists, musicians and songwriters".

Spotify sued music creators after a decision by the US Copyright Royalty Board required Spotify to increase its royalty payments.

Writing on the Verge news site, Sam Byford said Apple had only addressed some of Spotify's criticisms. "After trying unsuccessfully to resolve the issues directly with Apple, we're now requesting that the EC take action to ensure fair competition".

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