CNN Business, New York
Spotify wants to deliver Apple a solid public beating.
The music streaming service publicly criticizes the Silicon Valley behemoth over a dispute based on the 30% App Store fee Apple imposes for in-app digital service transactions.
Harry Clarke, associate general counsel and Spotify’s top competition attorney told CNN in an interview on Tuesday, “We are talking about this because it is reflective of Apple’s anti-competitive tactics across the board.”
The background is that Spotify (SPOT) repeatedly refuses to give Apple the enormous 30% part of its revenue. This implies that the company, attempting to enter the audiobook market, cannot sell audiobooks inside its iOS app. Instead, Spotify (SPOT) came up with three workarounds that it thought were in line with Apple’s regulations. But after going through App Store reviews, they were all ultimately disapproved, forcing the company to stop letting users buy audiobooks through its iOS app.
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The impact is evident to potential book buyers. iOS users, who browse Spotify’s collection of audiobooks and tap on a choice are greeted with the following message: “Want to listen? In the app, you can not purchase audiobooks. We recognize its disadvantageous. (Of course, Apple also offers audiobooks for purchase through its built-in Apple Books app).
Spotify is using the skirmish to attack Apple in the media and draw attention to the company’s 30% in-app fee, which the streamer and others have long slammed. Despite the fact that Spotify has no remedy to force Apple to approve its app featuring its audiobook workaround. Spotify published a harsh press release and took part in a lengthy story with The New York Times.
When questioned why Spotify is making such a big deal out of the situation, Clarke responded, “We think it is vital that users, legislators, and competition authorities obtain what is happening.” “Because we have found that there is almost universal agreement about it being unjust once they do comprehend what is happening,”
Because Spotify consumers might not understand why the audiobook experience in the iOS app is so difficult, according to Clarke, the firm must bring up the issue in the media. According to Clarke, many customers aren’t aware of the back-and-forth the company has experienced with Apple. One problem with Apple’s limits, he continued, is that they virtually ordered us not to discuss this in the app.
Apple is ignoring Spotify’s PR offensive. The company pointed CNN to a general statement it had made regarding the dispute, in which it claimed that while it had “no problem with reader apps adding audiobook material,” Spotify’s workaround, which involved in-app purchases, violated its policies.
The public spat between Apple and Spotify is a recent example of a bigger pattern in which Big Tech firms have been attacking the iPhone manufacturer. Recently, Mark Zuckerberg attacked Apple’s iMessage security measures, claiming that WhatsApp is more secure. Google has also criticized Apple for not cooperating with Android in texting.
It is unlikely that these pressures will end anytime soon. Spotify stated that it intends to keep openly pressuring Apple over the issue. Clarke added that to make people aware of the harm Apple’s actions are causing, “we will continue to raise awareness of this issue.”