Apple denies consumers true choice
Apple arbitrarily moves the goalposts and frequently changes the rules for competitors. They bar Spotify from communicating directly with our customers who access Spotify via Apple platforms. Our customers aren’t allowed to hear from us about our deals and promotions or about ways they can take advantage of opportunities to upgrade their service via the App.
Apple has also routinely rejected and delayed upgrades and enhancements to the Spotify app that we develop to improve functionality and our customers’ experience — and intentionally does so at business critical moments for us. Importantly, they put none of these roadblocks in front of their own music service.
Apple imposes a discriminatory 30% tax
To share the Spotify app with fans on iOS, we have two choices: 1) Use Apple’s payment system and be forced to pay their 30% fee, which Apple’s music service doesn’t have to pay, meaning we cannot be price competitive or 2) reject the tax and face what is essentially a gag order, limiting the ways we can communicate with our fans about amazing deals and promotions – never getting the opportunity to share things like our offer for three months of Premium for only 99 cents. (In fact, if we don’t pay the tax, we can’t even say “Get Premium” or provide helpful hints on how/when/where you can upgrade.) Either option creates a poor experience for our customers, making it often impossible for them to get the audio content they want, the way they want it and with the ease they expect from a company like Spotify.
Apple’s actions violate the law
For companies big and small, competition doesn’t work unless everyone has a fair chance. Apple once operated as if vibrant and fair competition for customers was the best business strategy. Unfortunately, their actions indicate Apple no longer believes that — to the unfair and unlawful detriment of Spotify and our customers. Apple has intentionally made it worse and worse for Spotify and other app developers. And it’s unnecessary: there is enough market potential for numerous companies to thrive in this space. It’s not Apple’s role to decide who the winners and losers will be. They must stop interfering and let competition work.