Apple has issued a scathing response to Spotify’s complaint to the EU antitrust regulators, which accused it of anti-competitive behaviour.
Earlier this week the streaming giant issued a formal complaint against Apple, stating that it has put in place “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”.
In response to this public attack, Apple has issued a statement on its own website defending its practices and accusing Spotify of wanting to have its cake and eat it.
Apple stated: “After using the App Store for years to dramatically grow their business, Spotify seeks to keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem — including the substantial revenue that they draw from the App Store’s customers — without making any contributions to that marketplace.
“At the same time, they distribute the music you love while making ever-smaller contributions to the artists, musicians and songwriters who create it — even going so far as to take these creators to court.
“Spotify has every right to determine their own business model, but we feel an obligation to respond when Spotify wraps its financial motivations in misleading rhetoric about who we are, what we’ve built and what we do to support independent developers, musicians, songwriters and creators of all stripes.”
It goes on to address numerous points raised on Time to Play Fair, a website set up by Spotify to lay out the ways in which it believes it is stifling competition on its platform to favour its own services.
The site claimed that Apple “rejects our app enhancements”, adding that it “routinely rejects bug fixes”.
Apple responded saying: “Let’s clear this one up right away. We’ve approved and distributed nearly 200 app updates on Spotify’s behalf, resulting in over 300 million downloaded copies of the Spotify app. The only time we have requested adjustments is when Spotify has tried to sidestep the same rules that every other app follows.”
Another major accusation which Apple said was “especially surprising”, was that it had delayed Spotify’s integration on the Apple Watch.
Its response stated that it reviewed and approved Spotify’s app in September 2018 “with the same process and speed with which we would any other app. In fact, the Spotify Watch app is currently the No. 1 app in the Watch Music category.”