Spotify Called Apple A Monopolist, Clash Intensified

The clash between Spotify and Apple intensifiesPhoto By: Michael Fötsch/Flickr

The war between Spotify and Apple had offered a new entertainment on the internet space. The clash intensified after the music streaming service labeled the latter a ‘monopolist.’

Spotify filed a complaint with the European Union (EU) last week, claiming that Apple’s rules and procedures are unfair. The dispute between the two giants continue to wage on with both companies feeding on each other’s stands on the issue.

It all started when Variety reported that on March 7, Spotify and several tech companies such as Google, Pandora, and Amazon appealed before the European Commission against a “ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board” that would allow the raising of songwriting royalty rates for streaming by 50 percent in the next five years.

Apple Music, however, found the appeal more challenging, as it was evident on its statement released after the announcement of such complaint was made. It has said that Spotify sued music creators after a decision by the US Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) required the streaming service to increase its royalty payments.

The thing is, releasing a public statement and issuing allegation that Spotify is suing songwriters is a misrepresentation and a complete misunderstanding between the two tech giants. Spotify released a statement of its own saying that it highly supports the royalty increase, taking into account and consideration things like the cost of the video and lyric rights.

Before the issue between the two subsided, another contention rises. Spotify filed an antitrust complaint on March 13 against Apple in the European Union.

The complaint indicated that the iPhone maker unfairly limits rivals and growth solely to its streaming service, Apple Music. Spotify bites back saying that the App store is depriving consumers of their right to choose over a diverse culture of music and rivals to provide a streaming platform for its craft. In addition, Spotify’s complaint filed to the European Commission on Monday indicated that a 30 percent fee Apple charges content-based service providers to use Apple’s in-app purchase system (IAP).

Spotify CEO, Daniel EK wrote in a blog post that the tax provides “no good and very unfair.” It just shows that Apple punished developers who do not use its payment system by blocking app upgrades and stifling the ability to communicate with clients. Apple has introduced rules to the app store that limit choices and stifle the growth of other interested companies for the sole benefit of the app store’s revenue.

Now, according to Variety’s report on Sunday, Spotify said that Apple’s response and gameplay are not new and entirely in line with their expectation.

“Every monopolist will suggest they have done nothing wrong and will argue that they have the best interests of competitors and consumers at heart,” remarked Spotify in response to Apple.

And, earlier today, the music streaming service has again thrown stones to Apple saying that the company claimed that Spotify users on IOS are Apple customers and not Spotify’s. This hurts Spotify which believes that Apple should have an equal and just treatment with its customers or clients.

The response came after Spotify made its statement. Apple said that a full 84 percent of the app in the app store pays nothing to them even when they download or use the app and defended itself that contributing on a market share is not a form of discrimination as what Spotify continues to believe.

In its complaint with the EU, Spotify said that Apple required the payment from them and other digital services to pay a 30 percent tax on purchases made thru Apple’s payment system including its upgrade subscription from free to premium.

Furthermore, if all the digital services agree to pay them, they would come up with a solution which makes premium membership fee higher than the price of Apple Music. It would eventually leads to customer complaints and refusal to upgrade to premium membership, and worst, withdrawing of their subscription accounts from the streaming service.

Moreover, calling Apple a ‘monopolist’ is becoming a big issue as of the moment. It has created negative implications for the two companies and even harmed listeners as these tech giants continue to battle against each other.

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