Spotify and a handful of other companies are going after Apple with anticompetitive allegations in Europe. According to a new report from the Financial Times, Spotify is accusing Apple and Google of abusing their “privileged position” at the top of the market…
The letter, filed in Brussels, is signed by Spotify, Deezer, and German start-up investor Rocket Internet, and several other companies. While the letter is vague in nature and doesn’t directly accuse Apple of being a culprit, it complains that “some” mobile operating systems, app stores, and search engines have transformed into “gatekeepers” rather than “gateways.”
Thus, Spotify and co say that Apple and Google are hindering rivals form fair competition by abusing their market position.
In the letter, the chief executives write that this mismatch requires “specific rules guiding the interactions between platforms and their business users”. Normally, a company abusing its dominant market position would be covered by competition law.
According to the report, the European Union is considering new sector-specific codes of conduct, as well as an independent dispute settlement body that would essentially be asked with handling disputes between large companies like Apple and smaller competitors such as Spotify. The debate, however, caters around whether or not the European Commission should act cautiously or do a lot more to control large companies like Apple and Google.
The relationship between Spotify and Apple has been tense in the past. Last year, Spotify accused Apple of rejecting the latest version of its app, while also vocally opposing the 85/15 split Apple offers developers with subscription platforms. Apple, however, responded to those accusations by accusing Spotify of “resorting to rumors and half-truths” about Apple, the App Store, and Apple Music. Senator Elizabeth Warren also accused Apple of monopolistic-like actions, saying the company abused its size in order to “snuff out competition.”
Apple has yet to comment on the latest accusations Spotify is throwing its way, but if the case proceeds in the European Union then we should expect the company to at some point step in and defend itself.
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