Apple says Spotify wants 'limitless access' to App Store tools without paying

Julie Clover

Amid rumors that the European Commission will soon fine Apple €500 million for violating EU law regarding access to streaming music services, Apple today commented on its relationship with Apple Music competitor Spotify and the ongoing complaints that Spotify is filing to the EU is trying to achieve changes to the rules of the App Store.

In a statement to MacRumors, Apple said that Spotify is committed to gaining unlimited access to Apple's tools and services without paying anything for the value Spotify gets from the ‌App Store‌.

“We are excited to support the success of all developers, including Spotify , the largest music streaming app in the world. Spotify pays nothing to Apple for the services that helped them create, update, and share their app with Apple users. in 160 countries around the world. Essentially, their complaint is about trying to get unlimited access to all of Apple's tools without paying anything for the value Apple provides.”

European Union investigation into the streaming music market and Apple ‌App Store‌ The policy was originally initiated by Spotify. Spotify has repeatedly complained about the ‌App Store‌ rules that prevent users from subscribing to Spotify without using in-app purchases or paying Apple a fee.

Spotify began working with the European Commission in 2015, and the company filed its final complaint in Europe in 2019. This led to a Statement of Objections by the European Commission in 2021. The European Commission has since filed “replacement” Statements of Objections on two separate occasions as it narrowed the focus of its investigation, with the latest statement being published in December 2023. Spotify has met with the European Commission 65 times over the past 10 years, trying to convince the EU that Apple's rules are negatively impacting streaming music services.

Apple says that while Spotify argues that Apple's policies harm competition and stifle growth, the streaming music market is actually growing, which poses a problem for the European Commission and leads to a review of the Statement of Objections. The commission failed to prosecute Apple for requiring app developers to use in-app purchases, nor did it find that Apple was harming consumers with anticompetitive practices, so the investigation turned to anti-circumvention rules that prevent apps from informing users of lower prices. subscription prices available outside of the ‌App Store‌.

According to Apple, Spotify wants to rewrite the rules for its own benefit. Apple doesn't believe Spotify's complaints are about competition or seeking a better deal for consumers – Apple says Spotify simply wants a better deal and is using the European Commission to try to get it. Spotify wants access to Apple technologies, ‌App Store‌ reach and monetization through ‌App Store‌ without paying anything to Apple.

The European Commission said Apple's anti-circumvention rules “harm users of music streaming services on Apple mobile devices” and could lead to consumer confusion, leading to higher prices. , but Apple believes the European Commission's view on the matter is flawed and has been heavily influenced by Spotify's ongoing complaints.

Apple says Spotify is the dominant music streaming provider in Europe and elsewhere, and that much of the company's success can be attributed to the ‌App Store‌. Spotify apps can run smoothly on Apple devices thanks to Apple's engineering efforts. Spotify has used TestFlight for nearly 500 versions of its app and uses thousands of Apple APIs across 60 platforms.

If and when the EU fines Apple over this issue, the company will almost certainly appeal the decision. so the antitrust battle between Apple and Spotify is likely far from over.

Update: In its statement, Spotify said it does not have a level playing field with Apple and hopes the European Commission will take action to create a fair ecosystem.


Spotify's success has occurred despite Apple's best efforts to gain an artificial advantage by favoring its own music service at every turn while simultaneously obstructing and imposing unfair restrictions on ours. Under current rules, Apple controls Spotify's access to its customers and gives Spotify one of two untenable options: either we must provide a poor user experience where we cannot directly communicate how to buy or subscribe to Spotify on iPhone, or we must accept A 30% cost gap compared to our largest competitor. It's not a level playing field. We support the European Commission and believe that they will soon take action to create a fair ecosystem for all participants.

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