Spotify is enraged at the way that that Apple’s App Store approval process is being exploited to put down other competitors that are directly a threat to Apple’s own music streaming service: Apple Music. Apple recently denied a request from Spotify to update its iOS app, which is what’s currently causing conflict.
Here the problem lies in the way Apple requires subscription based services to use iTunes billing in order to sell service to app Store users. What’s unfair is while Apple doesn’t require that Apps use the iTunes billing system at all, it doesn’t allow apps to use any other kind of billing system. On top of this, if services opt for iTunes billing (which they don’t have another option for in the first place0), Apple is demanding 30% of subscription revenues.
And Spotify has been passing the extra $3 charge to its customers ever since, just for signing up using iTunes billing system. Even so, Spotify has also been advertising its $0.99 promotion which gives new subscribers 3 months of Spotify Premium for $1, but they do need to do it via Spotify’s website.
According to Gutierrez, Apple has threatened to remove Spotify from the App store if it doesn’t stop campaigning its own users to sign up outside of iTunes billing system, via Spotify’s own website.
Spotify’s general counsel Horacio Gutierrez wrote a letter to Apple’s general counsel, Bruce Sewell, calling Apple’s practices “anticompetitive” and accused Apple’s behavior as “excluding and diminishing the competitiveness of Spotify on iOS and as a rival to Apple Music.
Gutierrez continues saying, “…we cannot stand by as Apple uses the App Store approval process as a weapon to harm competitors.”