Spotify's CEO Expects Apple to Further 'Open Up' After EU Antitrust Complaint

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek today told Bloomberg that he expects Apple to further "open up" in long term following the antitrust complaint Spotify filed with the European Union last year.

spotify complaint apple eu
In the complaint, Spotify said that Apple enforces App Store rules that "purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience," and that Apple acts as "both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers."

Spotify specifically took issue with Apple's 30 percent fee collected on ‌App Store‌ purchases, which has forced Spotify to charge subscribers through the ‌App Store‌ $12.99 per month for its Premium plan instead of the $9.99 per month fee it normally collects.

The European Union subsequently launched an investigation into Apple, even though Apple claimed Spotify's complaint was "misleading rhetoric."

Apple has since made a few changes, launching a feature that allows Siri to work with non-Apple Music services, and Spotify has also introduced new Apple Watch and Apple TV apps. Ek said these moves have been encouraging.

"We're very encouraged about being able to now finally use Siri as a way of building in voice support and also being available to build products for the Apple TV and Apple Watch, something that we haven't been able to do until very recently," Ek said in the interview. It's unclear if Spotify was actually prevented from launching an Apple TV app as the platform has had other music services for multiple years as App Store apps.

Earlier this year, Bloomberg said that Apple is working on a new feature that will allow third-party apps like Spotify to run natively on the HomePod, and there may be an option that will allow users to change the default music app on iOS and iPadOS 14, further leveling the playing field between Apple and its competitors.

Apple, said Ek is "moving in the right direction," but there are "many, many steps" still to go before Spotify will consider Apple an "open and fair platform."

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Top Rated Comments

DEMinSoCAL Avatar
55 months ago

Apple should just make Apple Music for free and kill Spotiy, it's not like they can't afford it.
Because Apple Music is the be-all, end-all, most awesome music service? According to who, you?


I get it, Apple is the "gate keeper" and one might say they have a strangle hold on IOS distribution, but could you imagine someone suing Walmart for refusing to sell their product.
That's the not point. First, Apple has made it so that the App Store is the only source of apps. Walmart is not the only source of food, clothes, electronics, etc.

Second, imagine buying a TV at Walmart, and then any streaming services you subscribe to, you have to get them through Walmart's TV App Portal, and the services are 30% higher than everyone else. Hardly fair. Not quite equal because Walmart doesn't have a stranglehold on TV's, whereas the App Store has a stranglehold on apps.

Should Apple make something on in-app purchases? Sure. They can't run an App Store for free (although they've made it so people need it), but 30% for something they had nothing to do with whatsoever? Maybe a couple percent, at most, for the convenience.


astill waiting for Spotify to make it so the Apple Watch can use songs offline or stream, why so long Spotify? API is available, guess lawyers are more valuable than paying software devs
This. (and, why Instagram doesn't have an iPad app yet!)
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GeoStructural Avatar
55 months ago

I do not agree with Spotify’s case on Apple not being a fair platform. The fact is Apple controls their own App Store. Therefore, they can determine its terms.

With that being said, whatever gets me closer to be able to set Outlook as my default email app, I am happy.
I would agree with you if there were other App Stores or ways for people to compete, but there aren't. It doesn't matter that Apple created the device or the service, if they are competing it has to be fair because the law says so.

Developers have to pay a yearly fee to be there, then on top of that companies like Spotify have to pay an additional 30% of their income, that is a huge amount of money, I cannot imagine paying 30% of what I charged for a project to anyone.

I hope the EU will do the right thing and support Spotify here.


So hosting the in-app purchase content, payment processing, APIs to enable in-app purchasing is all nothing?
Yes. I can host my own app, I can deal with payment services, I can do all of that without loosing 30% of my business or overcharging costumers to fill Apple's deep pockets.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
maldahleh Avatar
55 months ago
The Spotify CEO seems to have a massive ego, I don't think any of the changes Apple are making are because of him or Spotify's complaint in specific, but rather to cater to what Apple's users want.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mmikuta Avatar
55 months ago
Still waiting for Spotify to make it so the Apple Watch can use songs offline or stream, why so long Spotify? API is available, guess lawyers are more valuable than paying software devs
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TechieGeek Avatar
55 months ago
Some people here are so anti-Spotify.

Competition breeds innovation, y’all. This is good for consumers. We can’t have monopolies, or they stop innovating.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
calzon65 Avatar
55 months ago
I get it, Apple is the "gate keeper" and one might say they have a strangle hold on IOS distribution, but could you imagine someone suing Walmart for refusing to sell their product.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)