Spotify Criticized Apple: Limitations Regarding Subscription Costs and Offers

By Consultants Review Team Tuesday, 05 March 2024

Spotify, a significant participant in the music streaming market, criticized Apple's actions following the ruling, claiming that Apple's regulations made it more difficult for it to speak with customers directly regarding subscription costs and offers, whereas Apple Music, a rival, was not subject to the same limitations.

This ruling sends a strong message: no business, not even a monopoly like Apple, has the right to abuse authority in order to dictate how other businesses deal with their clients. Due to Apple's regulations, Spotify and other music streaming services are prohibited from directly informing our users about different benefits within our app. This means that we are unable to inform them about how to upgrade, the cost of subscriptions, special offers, discounts, and a host of other benefits. Naturally, Spotify stated in a statement that Apple Music, a rival to similar applications, is not prohibited from acting in the same way.

Apple, however, vehemently disagreed with the ruling, claiming that the Commission was unable to find solid proof of customer harm or anti-competitive behavior. The business charged Spotify of trying to manipulate the App Store's regulations in order to obtain unfair benefits without making any contributions to Apple's ecosystem.
The inquiry that began in 2020 in response to Spotify's antitrust lawsuit against Apple's "Apple Tax" and restrictive App Store practices has resulted in this verdict. The Commission's attention gradually turned to App Store regulations that restricted developers' capacity to notify customers about substitute payment methods.

Critics contend that despite Apple's concessions, which include enabling developers to promote payment options beyond the iOS app, they are not enough to allay the worries expressed by authorities and developers. As Apple is ready to update its app distribution guidelines to comply with the EU's Digital Markets Act and enable third-party software markets on the iPhone for the first time, the EU imposes a fine.

Apple, which continues to argue that the App Store has encouraged competition and given developers great opportunities, has declared its intention to appeal the ruling. The implications of this decision are probably going to be felt throughout the whole global IT sector, especially as the internet giant prepares for legal disputes in Europe.

This judgment from the European Commission comes right before the Digital Markets Act (DMA), their new rule, goes into effect. Apple is scheduled to comply with the DMA in a few days, and we want to modify the regulations that are being contested here. It is evident that the current competition legislation does not serve as the foundation for this conclusion. The Commission is making an attempt to enforce the DMA before its enactment.

In actuality, customers in Europe have more options than ever. Ironically, the statement added, today's judgment just solidifies the dominating position of a profitable European corporation that leads the digital music industry by a wide margin in the name of competition.

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