Apple Responds to Spotify’s EU Antitrust Lawsuit for Unfair Practices

Apple is firing back in response to Spotify’s European Commission (EC) complaint.

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.

Apple said that Spotify “seeks to keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem — including the substantial revenue that they draw from the App Store’s customers — without making any contributions to that marketplace.”

“At the same time, they distribute the music you love while making ever-smaller contributions to the artists, musicians, and songwriters who create it — even going so far as to take these creators to court,” the post continued.

The iPhone maker added that the App Store has generated $120 billion USD for developers while offering users a secure platform and that Spotify is seeking to sidestep the rules that every other app follows.

“Spotify has every right to determine their own business model, but we feel an obligation to respond when Spotify wraps its financial motivations in misleading rhetoric about who we are,” reads Apple’s response.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek had complained that Apple makes digital services “pay a 30 percent tax on purchases made through Apple’s payment system.” Apple countered that the revenue sharing at that level only applies during the first year of an annual subscription — Spotify, it said, “left out that it drops to 15 percent in the years after.”

Apple also pointed out that a huge number of Spotify’s customers opt to stick with the free version of the app — which is supported by ads — or are on premium plans promoted by mobile carriers, neither of which brings in any money for Apple.

“Even now, only a tiny fraction of their subscriptions fall under Apple’s revenue-sharing model,” it wrote. “Spotify is asking for that number to be zero.”

“Let’s be clear about what that means,” the company wrote. “Apple connects Spotify to our users. We provide the platform by which users download and update their app. We share critical software development tools to support Spotify’s app building. And we built a secure payment system — no small undertaking — which allows users to have faith in in-app transactions. Spotify is asking to keep all those benefits while also retaining 100 percent of the revenue.”

Read Apple’s full statement to Spotify over at their Newsroom.