Spotify Complains That Apple Hasn't Approved Update With Subscription Pricing and Links in EU

Apple has not approved a Spotify app update that adds information on subscription pricing and links its website, Spotify complained today in an email to the European Commission (via The Verge). Spotify says that Apple has not "acknowledged nor responded" to its App Store submission.

Apple vs Spotify feature2
The European Commission on March 4 fined Apple almost $2 billion and said that Apple abused its dominant position in the market by preventing music streaming services from telling users about more affordable subscription prices outside of their iOS apps. The EC said that it is "illegal under EU antitrust rules" for Apple to keep developers from telling customers about cheaper music subscription options.

Apple was told that it must "remove anti-steering provisions" in the European Union, and so on March 5, Spotify submitted an app update that included subscription pricing tiers and options to pay without using in-app purchase. Spotify says that it has not had a response from Apple since submitting the update.

Spotify told the European Commission that Apple's lack of response is "yet another example" of how Apple "will seek to circumvent and/or not comply with the Commission's decision." Spotify asked the EC to require Apple to approve the app update.

In a statement to The Verge, Spotify also said that Apple's delay "directly conflicts" with Apple's statements about processing app submissions within 24 hours, and "flies in the face of the timeline for adoption" from the EC.

It's been nine days now and we're still waiting to hear from Apple about our app submission to show EU consumers pricing and a link to our website, which we are now authorized to do by the European Commission's decision on the music streaming case. Apple's delay directly conflicts with their claim that they turn around reviews on app submissions within 24 hours, and it also flies in the face of the timeline for adoption the Commission laid out.

The ruling from the European Commission that requires Apple to eliminate anti-steering rules is separate from the app ecosystem changes that Apple made in the European Union with iOS 17.4 to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

Under the terms of the DMA, Spotify is allowed to distribute a Spotify app to EU users outside of the ‌App Store‌, but it would be required to pay Apple's Core Technology Fee for each user. Spotify currently does not pay Apple any commission.

The DMA also permits Spotify to direct users to make purchases on its website while also providing information on in-app promotions, discounts, and deals, but again, Spotify would need to agree to Apple's updated business terms and fees to implement these changes. Spotify has not clarified if it adopted Apple's new terms or if its update has been submitted without doing so.

Top Rated Comments

Vol Braakzakje Avatar
6 weeks ago
Wow, so Spotify can bring quick updates? Who would have thought… I’m still waiting for airplay 2, high def and Spotify on my HomePod… it’s been many, many years now.
Score: 70 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hoodafoo Avatar
6 weeks ago
Apple acting like a petulant child these days..
Score: 55 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleTO Avatar
6 weeks ago
Apple is just getting destroyed by the European Commission. It's getting kind of funny really.
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
k1121j Avatar
6 weeks ago
Did they check their spam folder?
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarAnalogy Avatar
6 weeks ago

Spotify likely submitted a broken app or one that breaks the rules to make Apple delay or refuse to pass it. These huge companies are as bad as each other.
Then why has it taken Apple more than a week to respond in any way? I'm under no illusions that either of these companies cares about me as more than a bucket of money they're trying to siphon from, but Spotify is slightly less wrong in this case.

Apple clearly abuses their absolute control over all software distribution on their platform. This is one of many, many clear examples and Apple has shown that they feel developers should be thanking them for allowing them the privilege of developing for their platform.

And then they release a new platform and wonder why developers won't write for it.

Apple may not be legally wrong but they are wrong and being so stubborn about it that it's baffling.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lkrupp Avatar
6 weeks ago

Apple’s anti-competitive actions surprises no one… unfortunately.
Baloney. Spotify and Epic want access to over a billion iPhone users without paying a red cent to Apple for that access. Both are acting like the dicks that run them.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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