Spotify files antitrust complaint against Apple

The music streaming service alleges Apple Music has an "unfair advantage'' on the App Store.

Spotify has filed a complaint with the European Union (EU) against Apple. Spotify announced the decision in a recent blog post.

Why is Spotify filing a complaint against Apple?

Spotify alleges that its rival Apple Music has an unfair advantage in the tech company’s App Store. The streaming music company filed a complaint with the European Commission, the antitrust division of the EU. Spotify founder, Daniel Ek, wrote about the policies that he perceives as limiting competition, such as an ‘Apple tax.’

‘Apple requires that Spotify and other digital services pay a 30% tax on purchases made through Apple’s payment system, including upgrading from our Free to our Premium service. If we pay this tax, it would force us to artificially inflate the price of our Premium membership well above the price of Apple Music,’ wrote Ek.

Ek also wrote about how he feels Spotify would be punished if it doesn’t pay the tax that Apple charges streaming music services.

‘If we choose not to use Apple’s payment system, forgoing the charge, Apple then applies a series of technical and experience-limiting restrictions on Spotify,’ wrote Ek.

Ek also alleges that Apple blocks Spotify and other streaming music companies from syncing with Apple services like Siri or HomePod.

Can Spotify end the ‘Apple tax’?

Spotify’s complaint against Apple is part of a timely discussion about how big tech companies can get to limit competition. US Senator, Elizabeth Warren, recently made a proposal to break up companies like Apple to prevent situations like the one Spotify alleges is happening now. Warren proposes breaking the tech giant apart so its services don’t have dominance over competitors.

‘Apple, you’ve got to break it apart from their App Store. It’s got to be one or the other. Either they run the platform or they play in the store. They don’t get to do both at the same time,’ said Warren.

Spotify’s antitrust complaint against Apple will once again raise questions about how tech companies like Apple treat competition.

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