Spotify Responds to Apple

Posted on March 17, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Apple, iOS, Mobile, Music + Videos, Spotify with 36 Comments

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek

Spotify branded Apple as a monopolist in its response to a wordy but insubstantial Apple statement about its App Store policies.

As I’m sure you know, Spotify officially complained about Apple’s illegal business practices in the EU and requested that the European Commission launch an antitrust investigation and put a halt to this behavior. The EU has agreed to investigate the charges. But Apple shot back with a lengthy but curious feeble and hypocritical response to the charges.

Apple is a bully. And what it really wants is to change the conversation away from its obviously illegal behavior and to unrelated and unsubstantiated accusations against Spotify.

Which is pretty much what Spotify is now saying in its response to Apple’s response.

“Every monopolist will suggest they have done nothing wrong and will argue that they have the best interests of competitors and consumers at heart,” a Spotify statement notes. “In that way, Apple’s response to our complaint before the European Commission is not new and is entirely in line with our expectations.”

“We filed our complaint because Apple’s actions hurt competition and consumers, and are in clear violation of the law,” the statement continues. “This is evident in Apple’s belief that Spotify’s users on iOS are Apple customers and not Spotify customers, which goes to the very heart of the issue with Apple. We respect the process the European Commission must now undertake to conduct its review.”

I’d respect it a lot more if it would simply move more quickly: The EC has shown itself very interesting in moving aggressively against abusive U.S. tech giants. But the EU legal process is quite slow, and it could be years before Apple is officially charged with antitrust abuses. And it has a chance to cement its ill-gotten gains in music streaming by then.

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