Report: Spotify Goes After Apple Over App Store Policies

Spotify expressed frustration with the App Store approval process this week after Apple reportedly rejected an update to the streaming music service's iOS app, according to Recode.

The update concerned Spotify's billing system for its Premium service, with Apple demanding that Spotify use Apple's own billing service—through which it takes a cut of all sales—for subscription payments, Recode reported.

The rejection reportedly prompted Spotify to send a letter to Apple's general counsel, signaling possible legal action over Apple's tight control of its App Store ecosystem. Recode said it obtained a copy of the letter, sent on June 26, which argued that Apple's rejection is the latest in a string of actions that could constitute a violation of American and European antitrust laws.

"It continues a troubling pattern of behavior by Apple to exclude and diminish the competitiveness of Spotify on iOS and as a rival to Apple Music, particularly when seen against the backdrop of Apple's previous anticompetitive conduct aimed at Spotify," the letter said, according to Recode. "We cannot stand by as Apple uses the App Store approval process as a weapon to harm competitors."

Neither company immediately responded to a request for comment.

Since 2011, Apple has taken a 30 percent cut of all App Store purchases, so if you download the Spotify app and subscribe through the app, Apple gets 30 percent of your monthly payment. As such, subscribing through the Spotify app costs $12.99 per month rather than $9.99 per month. To avoid the higher price, Spotify recommends that iPhone owners sign up for Spotify Premium on its website and then download the iOS app and sign in with their credentials.

This policy is why Amazon fans cannot purchase ebooks on the Amazon iOS app; Amazon doesn't want Apple getting 30 percent of its ebook profits. Users must instead buy ebooks on Amazon's website and then sync via the app.

Spotify, which earlier this month said its monthly active user base had reached 100 million, faces competition from Apple's own streaming music service, which launched a year ago. Both offer $10-a-month premium plans that include unlimited, ad-free streaming; Spotify also has a free, ad-supported version.

With iOS 10, Apple Music wiill get a user interface overhaul, which Cupertino previewed at WWDC a few weeks ago, though with around 13 million subscribers to Spotify's 30 million paying members, Apple continues to play second fiddle to Spotify.

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