Spotify says ‘the future of the internet economy depends on’ limiting Apple’s App Store dominance.
In its continued stand against Apple and its monopolistic practices in its App Store, Spotify’s Chief Public Affairs Officer Dustee Jenkins released a blog post outlining the steps taken thus far, asserting that “the future of the internet economy depends on” holding Apple accountable.
Spotify made the decision to challenge Apple’s restrictions five years ago when Apple denied Spotify’s app update with a set of constraints that “would once again further limit our ability to conduct business in its app store.” Spotify believes that to protect the internet economy’s future, companies should compete on a level playing field where consumers can make informed decisions.
The company admits that progress has been made in Europe but emphasizes that worldwide regulation is needed to prevent Apple from possessing unchecked power at the expense of consumers. Apple’s practices limit consumer choice while inflating prices and hindering developers. To that point, Spotify highlights its struggles with Apple’s restrictions, such as the unnecessarily complex process the company was forced to undergo to implement audiobooks, “a multi-step process” that users “don’t want or deserve.”
Further, Spotify cites several other Apple-imposed constraints, including the inability to inform customers of pricing options and alternative payment methods. Spotify also reveals that to gain Apple’s approval, the company must share proprietary information with its largest competitor, providing Apple an unfair advantage.
Apple’s 30% tax on app developers while exempting its own apps from this fee further burdens consumers. Spotify urges regulators to take action and intervene, like Europe’s passing of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and the UK’s developing Digital Markets, Competition, and Consumers bill (DMCC) to alleviate these concerns.
App developers worldwide have rallied around Spotify’s stand against Apple’s monopoly, and the company believes the time for action is now. With regulatory intervention, consumers can experience fair competition in the app market.
With Congress preparing to reintroduce the Open App Markets Act in the US, Spotify is hopeful that positive change is on the horizon. The company also cites Japan, South Korea, and Brazil as countries in which “the fire has been lit” to start holding Apple accountable worldwide.