'Let’s clear this one up right away': Apple throws jabs at Spotify's complaint in Europe

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Spotify reached 83 million subscribers. Elizabeth Keatinge has more. Buzz60

The battle of the music streaming titans is officially on.

On Wednesday, Spotify complained to the European Commission antitrust regulators that Apple isn’t playing fair and is harming consumers. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek argued that App Store policies give Apple Music an “unfair advantage at every turn.”

On Thursday, Apple fired back against the streaming service by saying that Spotify wants “all the benefits of a free app without being free.” The iPhone maker also threw in a couple more subtle jabs in the lengthy “Addressing Spotify’s Claims” press release.

Apple said in its public retort that Spotify has used the App Store “for years to dramatically grow their business,” but now it wants to reap benefits “without making any contributions to that marketplace.”

“The majority of customers use their free, ad-supported product, which makes no contribution to the App Store,” Apple said. “Even now, only a tiny fraction of their subscriptions fall under Apple’s revenue-sharing model. Spotify is asking for that number to be zero.”

The complaint: Spotify claims ‘Apple tax’ harms consumers, stifles rivals: files complaint with EU

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As a response to Spotify’s claims that Apple blocked it out of services like Siri, HomePod and Apple Watch, Apple said it reached out to Spotify “on several occasions,” to which Spotify said it’s “working on it.”

The tech giant further added that Spotify’s mention of the Apple Watch was “especially surprising” since the Spotify Watch app was reviewed and accepted back in 2018 with the same process and speed of any other app.

“The only contribution that Apple requires is for digital goods and services that are purchased inside the app using our secure in-app purchase system,” Apple’s statement said. 

Regarding Apple’s 30 percent tax on paid apps, which is at the center of Spotify’s complaint since Apple Music is not subject to it, Apple says Spotify’s sentiments are misleading. 

“That revenue share is 30 percent for the first year of an annual subscription – but they left out that it drops to 15 percent in the years after,” Apple said. 

“We feel an obligation to respond when Spotify wraps its financial motivations in misleading rhetoric about who we are,” Apple said. “Spotify wouldn’t be the business they are today without the App Store ecosystem.”

Do you prefer Apple Music or Spotify? Do you use both? Let Dalvin Brown know on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown.

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2019/03/15/apple-says-spotify-wouldnt-survive-without-apple-store/3173346002/

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