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Streaming services : Spotify accuses Apple of unfair competition

The music streaming market leader Spotify accuses Apple of unfair competition, and has filed a complaint with the EU Commission. Spotify defends primarily against the fact that the music service will make a significant part of the revenue to Apple, when users complete a Payment subscription on the iPhone. The complaint takes a part of the Apple business to the visor, for the group with the least decline in iPhone sales is always important.

In Apple's App Store and other Download-platforms such as Google's Play Store for Android devices – it is common for App providers get 70 percent of revenues, while 30 percent remain with the operator. This is true in the case of Apple, in principle, also for purchases within Apps. In the case of Abo-it reduces Revenues to Apple, the levy from the second year to 15 percent. In the Play Store from Google, Spotify could use, however, alternative Payment methods, and pay no comparable tax on the Internet group, said General counsel Horatio Gutierrez on Wednesday.

A key demand from Spotify, Apple should allow an App provider payments at the platform operator can handle. Gutierrez wanted to make no indication of how high Spotify evaluates the current load for the business due to the Apple scheme.

music streaming provider showed for a long time already dissatisfied so that you have to give a portion of subscription revenues to Apple, while the group gets in its competing service the entire amount. "If we pay this tax, would force us to make our Premium membership artificially significantly more expensive than Apple's Music", said Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek.

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new customers get no subscriptions

Spotify, the subscription offered in the iPhone App for a time more expensive than on the Web. In the meantime, you can't complete the Premium subscription on the iPhone. Also, the video streaming service Netflix offers since the end of last year, new customers can no longer purchase a subscription directly in the App. "We know that other companies in the industry are equally frustrated," said Gutierrez, without naming names. The Deezer music service, a smaller competitor of both Streaming heavyweights, explained on request, to support the Position of Spotify, plane but not your own complaint, or a joint approach with the market leader.

Apple don't make Spotify's life more difficult, because the music service use the payment system of the iPhone group, criticized Ek. So Apple have blocked regular App Updates and Spotify from the company's own products, such as the assistant software, Siri, the networked speaker HomePod, and the Computer-Watch Apple Watch. In addition, the possibilities to communicate with users would be restricted. It was, therefore, a further requirement of Spotify that Apple is advertising for full - and Marketing-communication with customers of Apps to allow.

"We do not want any special treatment," wrote Ek, and pointed out that about the car service mediator Uber or the food delivery service Deliveroo would have to pay no charges for individual transactions in their respective Apps. Apple wool but to the disadvantage of Spotify as a rival, - said Gutierrez. There is a clear conflict of interest, when a business becomes at the same time as the platform operator, and competitor.

the formal complaint, the subject of a new dynamics

gets The EU Commission had already investigated previously, the dual role of firms as platform operators and competitors, for example, in the case of Amazon. It is understood that Spotify is supposed to have denounced in the past years, the Situation in Apple's App Store in Brussels. With the formal complaint, which must be examined by the Commission, the subject of a new dynamic.

Apple on Wednesday first, no response on the Spotify complaint.

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Spotify closed the last quarter with 96 million paying subscription customers, 9 million more than three months earlier. Together with the Free Version of Spotify came to 207 million users. Apple Music as number two in the market according to the latest data, more than 50 million paying users - a free Version of the iPhone-the group has not. According to the calculations of some of the market researchers Spotify in the US has been overtaken market, however, in the meantime, Apple's Music.

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