The European Commission is being urged to take “swift and decisive action” against Apple for what Spotify and several other firms in Europe say are anti-competitive actions that have hurt their operations.
Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president of the European Commission, was the recipient of the open letter. The CEOs and senior executives of companies in the digital space who work in publishing, audio streaming, online software, communications, and markets all signed it. The letter primarily addresses the App Store and is also signed by Basecamp, Deezer, and five other companies. It claims that Apple “artificial obstacles” their progress, levies “excessive” costs, and arbitrarily alters the regulations.
Apple benefits from a monopoly position over its mobile ecosystem and extracts exorbitant rents from app developers who have no choice but to remain on the App Store to reach European consumers.
We are writing to you to call for swift and decisive action by the European Commission against anticompetitive and unfair practices by certain global digital gatekeepers, and Apple in particular […]
Since years ago, Spotify has resisted Apple’s intransigent hold on the App Store. In 2019, the firm filed an antitrust lawsuit in Europe, claiming that Apple’s regulations impeded innovation and hurt customers by driving up costs and creating a worse user experience for music streaming applications.
In its first conclusions from 2021, the European Commission agreed with Spotify and said that Apple had “abused its dominant position” in the distribution of music applications. But over two years later, the Commission is still working on its probe and hasn’t asked Apple to make any adjustments.
EU’s DMA Act is Expected to Provide a Fair Ground to Apple and its Competitors
The groundbreaking Digital Markets Act of the European Union is also rapidly approaching enforcement. The rule will probably name Apple as a “gatekeeper,” compelling the firm to relax its control over iOS and the App Store and give third parties like Spotify greater latitude. According to reports, Apple intends to comply with the DMA by enabling iOS sideloading and third-party software shops.
The firms’ complaints centers on a few limitations Apple imposes on iOS and the App Store. Apple mandates that all iOS applications be distributed via its storefront, where businesses are often obliged to give up a 15–30% share of earnings from digital sales. Apple restricts the ability of app developers to alert their users to more affordable choices elsewhere, which puts businesses like Spotify in a difficult position and transfers a significant portion of income to the owner of the rival music streaming service Apple Music.