Spotify, Apple Continue To Squabble Over What’s Fair Conduct

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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Spotify is heating up its already harsh rhetoric toward music-streaming rival Apple after claims Apple’s App Store rejected an updated version of Spotify’s iOS application.

Apple’s legal team received a scathing letter from Spotify earlier this week that was peppered with accusations of unfair, anti-competitive conduct. The message was relayed to members of Congress and originally reported by Recode Thursday.

Apple claims that Spotify’s update request violated “business model rules,” which states that third-party apps must use Apple’s billing system to sell subscriptions, but Spotify was not satisfied.

“We cannot stand by as Apple uses the App Store approval process as a weapon to harm competitors,” wrote Spotify general counsel Horacio Gutierrez to Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell.

This comes around the same time Spotify released a similar statement lambasting Apple’s practices, saying the company wanted “to have their cake and eat everyone else’s too.”

Spotify increased the price of its mobile subscription in 2014 to automatically adjust for Apple’s 30 percent revenue share. A month after Apple Music launched, Spotify vigorously petitioned for its users to subscribe to the premium web services in lieu of the Apple-controlled mobile subscription. While Spotify suspended this strategy, it discontinued in-app purchases on Spotify iOS.

Apple changed its original 30 percent charge rate to 15 percent, but Spotify is still more than irked. Spotify officials hope that the exposure of the formally outlined concerns will change public opinion or even federal regulations.

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