Spotify May Have Just Lost Its War Against Apple In the US — But There’s Still Hope for Europe

Spotify statement after Apple loss
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Photo Credit: Alexander Shatov

Apple lost its Supreme Court appeal in its legal battle with Epic Games—immediately making changes to its App Store policies and negatively impacting Spotify. Apple has to allow outside payment methods, but the App Store is also introducing a brand-new out-of-platform fee.

Spotify has issued its first official statement after the matter, urging the EU to prohibit additional fees for outside link purchases. Apple is charging a new 27% commission (12% for small businesses, Spotify does not qualify) on outside App Store purchases—which ends up being more once third-party payment processor fees of 3-6% are introduced.

The Digital Markets Act in the EU looks to ban such strong-armed practices, and Apple may find itself running afoul of U.S. regulators if an antitrust case is launched against the tech giant this year as speculated. Here’s a peek at Spotify’s official statement about the new policy changes.

“Once again, Apple has demonstrated that they will stop at nothing to protect the profits they exact on the backs of developers and consumers under their app store monoply,” the Spotify statement begins. “Their latest move in the U.S. — imposing a 27% fee for transactions made outside of an app on a developer’s website — is outrageous and flies in the face of the court’s efforts to enable greater competition and user choice.”

“This action follows similar moves by Apple to circumvent compliance in South Korea and The Netherlands. However, the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) will finally put an end to this false posturing, which is essentially a recreation of Apple’s fees. We strongly urge the European Commission to act switcly and decisively to prevent Apple from implementing similar fees, which are prohibited under the DMA.”

Another part of Apple’s policy changes require developers to get permission to add outside links to their app in the App Store. Developers who choose to implement this feature may also lose access to features like Family Sharing—while also needing to submit transaction reports within 15 days of a calendar month’s ending. In short, you can technically link to outside payments, but Apple has made the process so onerous that most developers will not use it.