In a joint industry letter on Wednesday, Spotify and other media companies like Deezer, Proton, and Basecamp urged the European Commission to take action against Apple for unfair and anticompetitive practices.
The letter addressed to Margrethe Vestager, Vice-President of the European Union antitrust regulator, urged the Commission to act quickly for the welfare of European consumers. “The time has come for urgent action from the EU to end Apple’s abusive behaviours. The EU has the opportunity to take the lead, but it must act fast as every day that passes is a loss for innovation and for the welfare of European consumers,” read the letter.
Spotify has long accused Apple of exploiting its market dominance by stifling competition by utilizing the App Store guidelines. At the “Antitrust Applied: Examining Competition in App Stores” hearing that took place in April 2021, Spotify and Tinder-maker Match Group said Apple is abusing its market power to disadvantage its rivals.
“For years, Apple has imposed unfair restrictions on our businesses. These restrictions hamper our development and harm European consumers. They include the tying of the App Store to Apple’s proprietary payment system, with its excessive commissions for app developers; the creation of artificial obstacles that prevent our businesses from freely communicating with our customers; restrictions to developers’ access to data of their own users; and capricious changes to terms and conditions. Apple benefits from a monopoly position over its mobile ecosystem and extracts exorbitant rents from app developers who have no choice but to remain on the App Store to reach European consumers,” the letter reads.
The letter was signed by Basecamp, Deezer, Proton, Schibsted, Spotify, European Publishers Council, France Digitale, and News Media Europe.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek had previously said Apple “gives itself every advantage while at the same time stifling innovation and hurting consumers”.