After Apple had launched the Apple Music service, it signified competition for the leading music streaming service at the time, Spotify. One way or the other, the two were bound to fight, and though it took long, it has happened. Spotify is accusing Apple of using its power over the iOS platform to strangle their competitor and engage in some unfair business practices.
Apple’s top lawyer, Bruce Sewell, has replied to the allegations in a written letter to Spotify. The letter was received by news outlets also, and an Apple spokesperson also confirmed that the letter was real.
In the letter, Sewell begins by saying that Apple has been disappointed by the public attacks that are directed towards them by Spotify. On Thursday last week, they sent a letter to Apple accusing it of monopoly, saying that the most valued company was using its App Store as a weapon to do harm more than good to their competitors. Spotify has been making this argument generally for over a year now.
Sewell also wrote in the letter that the fact that the music streaming company wants to be exempted from a rule that has been applied to each and every developer with an app on the App Store is troubling. Instead, Spotify has resorted to the rumors and half truths about Apple’s service.
Spotify is complaining that the cut Apple takes from App income generated through their subscriptions option for iPhone and iPad apps is high. Apple takes either 30 percent or 15 percent for iPhone and iPad apps. Therefore, to counter this, the music company has been encouraging users of their app to sign up through their website rather than the app itself, something which is against Apple’s rules.
Therefore Apple then rejected an update which Spotify wanted to make for its app.
The issue might be sensitive for Apple because if Spotify is accusing them of policies that may be reviewed as anticompetitive behavior, then the FTA would have to investigate. The FTA has already started investigating if they should bring an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, according to the Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren.
Sewell says that there is nothing that could amount to a violation of their conduct from Apple’s point of view, according to Sewell.