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Spotify’s ‘Apple problem’ continues in Europe | – Times of India



Spotify just can’t seem to catch a break from Apple. For months, the music streaming app has been trying to update its iOS app for European users to include pricing details and direct links to purchase subscriptions outside of Apple’s payment systems. However, even after antitrust regulators sided with Spotify, Apple kept shutting it down.
The latest development has Spotify stripping out the direct website link in hopes Apple will finally approve the update.However, Apple says Spotify must still agree to its new “Music Streaming Services Entitlement” rules and potentially pay up to 27% commission fees on any purchases initiated through messaging inside the app.

Spotify gets rejected, once again

In March, Spotify submitted an update adding website subscription info and links, which Apple ignored. This month, Spotify tried again with just bare pricing details and no links. However, Apple replied that Spotify must accept the new Entitlement terms regardless.
Spotify’s Chief Public Affairs Officer Dustee Jenkins blasted the move, saying, “By charging developers for communicating with consumers through links in-app, Apple continues to break European law.”
Jenkins accused Apple of “punishing developers with new fees” and urged the European Commission to “enforce its decision” against Apple’s restrictive policies.

Spotify’s allegations against Apple

The battle began in 2019 when Spotify filed an antitrust complaint against Apple with European regulators. Spotify claimed the 30% “Apple Tax” the iPhone maker charges on App Store purchases, including subscription fees, was unreasonable and stifled competition by making it too costly for services like Spotify to market cheaper options.
After a lengthy investigation, the European Commission agreed and handed Apple a whopping $2 billion fine in April 2023. The Commission ordered Apple to stop its “anti-steering practices” that prevented apps from informing users about cheaper ways to purchase digital content.

Apple’s response: New ‘entitlements’

Rather than fully comply, Apple introduced a new set of rules called “Entitlements” that still restrict what apps can do. The “Music Streaming Services Entitlement” allows apps to provide some pricing information and links to external subscription purchase methods. However, Apple mandates that developers using this must pay up to 27% commission fees on any purchases initiated this way.
So, while Spotify can technically inform users about its cheaper $9.99/month web subscription versus the $12.99 in-app option, Apple wants a cut if any sign-ups happen via app messaging. Spotify vehemently rejects paying any such “Apple Tax.”
The feud appears headed for further legal battles as Spotify refuses to pay commissions and Apple refuses to allow purchase information that could divert revenue easily. Users are caught in the middle and unable to see alternative purchasing options through the iOS app readily.

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