Apple has been accused of creating conditions to “deliberately disadvantage other app developers” on its app store by rival tech giant Spotify.
The streaming behemoth has launched an official complaint with the EU antitrust authorities against Apple, accusing it of purposefully stifling rival digital services with an “Apple tax”.
Spotify’s chief executive Daniel Ek published a blog post today arguing that Apple requires digital services like Spotify to pay a 30 per cent tax on any purchases made via Apple’s payment system.
This effectively means that Spotify is unable to offer prices which remain competitive with Apple’s own music streaming service Apple Music, which it launched in 2015.
He added that other apps like Uber or Deliveroo are not subject to this tax.
“In recent years Apple has introduced rules to purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience — essentially acting as both player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers,” Ek said.
This is not the first time Spotify has complained about Apple’s policy, but comes at an especially significant time as the iPhone retailer prepares for a high-profile media launch later this month.
Though not confirmed it is widely expected that on March 25 Apple will reveal its long anticipated TV streaming service, seeking to launch its own rival to Nextflix.
Apple Music recently overtook Spotify as the top paid music streaming service in the US, despite Spotify remaining the largest worldwide with 87 million global paid subscribers.