Spotify vs Apple: Anti-trust case

Spotify’s EU antitrust complaint could be a serious threat to Apple

I’m no lawyer but this case does seem pretty solid. I’m conflicted on this. I do think that Apple’s policies are anti-competitive, but a part of me says Apple should be allowed to do this on its platform.

“Spotify probably has a pretty good case in Europe,” argues Chris Sagers, a legal scholar and antitrust expert at the Cleveland-Marshal College of Law. Apple’s efforts to prevent Spotify from bypassing Apple’s in-app purchasing rules “looks like garden variety anticompetitive exclusion to me,” Sagers said. “I think it will to the European Commission as well.”

Apple is also not allowing apps to let customers know that they can sign up for Premium subscriptions on their website. It’s ridiculous that Apple doesn’t allow companies to let their customers know about the situation.

Sewell said Apple had rejected Spotify’s app because “the in-app purchase feature had been removed and replaced with an account sign-up feature clearly intended to circumvent Apple’s in-app purchase rules. This feature exists only for the purpose of avoiding having to pay Apple for your use of the App Store by emailing customers within hours, directing them to subscribe to Spotify on its website.”

European authorities are unlikely to look kindly on this kind of behavior, Sagers argues.

“Apple taking exclusionary steps to keep developers paying high fees to get their software onto people’s phones looks anticompetitive,” he told Ars. “The European Commission has seemed receptive to that kind of theory. And it looks worse when the firm also just happens to be selling competing products.”

Written on March 15, 2019