Apple Fires Back: Spotify ‘Wouldn’t Be The Business They Are Today Without The App Store’

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Recently, Spotify published a post in which they accused Apple of gaining an “unfair advantage” over Spotify and other streaming music competition by using “discriminatory” business practices with its App Store. Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek wrote in the post, “It is my firm belief that companies like ours must operate in an ecosystem in which fair competition is not only encouraged, but guaranteed. It’s why, after careful consideration, Spotify has filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission (EC), the regulatory body responsible for keeping competition fair and nondiscriminatory.”

Now, Apple has offered a response via a 1,100-word statement titled “Addressing Spotify’s Claims,” in which the company pulls no punches.

In the letter, Apple accused Spotify of being stingy, saying they want to enjoy the benefits the App Store ecosystem provides without paying into it. They also accused Spotify of using “misleading rhetoric” in their criticisms:

“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.”

Later on in the letter, Apple explained the value they provide to Spotify, and asserted that their streaming competitor “wouldn’t be the business they are today without the App Store ecosystem”:

“Apple connects Spotify to our users. We provide the platform by which users download and update their app. We share critical software development tools to support Spotify’s app building. And we built a secure payment system — no small undertaking — which allows users to have faith in in-app transactions. Spotify is asking to keep all those benefits while also retaining 100 percent of the revenue.

Spotify wouldn’t be the business they are today without the App Store ecosystem, but now they’re leveraging their scale to avoid contributing to maintaining that ecosystem for the next generation of app entrepreneurs. We think that’s wrong.”

Read Apple’s full statement here.