Spotify and Deezer Urge Swift EU Regulatory Action Against Apple

Bellemonville, Brussels, which serves as the headquarters of the European Commission. Photo credit: EmDee

After Deezer and Spotify provided fake stream data to the French government, Apple Music chose not to do so. took “quick and decisive action” against the Cupertino-based company’s “anti-competitive and unfair practices.”

Stockholm-based Spotify and Paris-based Deezer, in a letter to Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, expressed their latest demands for a crackdown on allegedly proprietary App Store policies from Apple, especially iPhone developers. issued.

Spotify, a long-time critic of Apple’s App Store fees (including a 30% fee certain developers must pay for in-app transactions), issued a letter through a formal release (and documented published in its entirety).

Four years ago, the streaming giant filed a European Union antitrust complaint against Apple, and last year, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek personally accused Brussels to “accelerate” a corresponding investigation. visited.

In November 2022, Ek doubled down on its push for EU regulatory action against Apple after Spotify touted a “groundbreaking” deal with Google for in-app subscriptions. Deezer, meanwhile, debuted on Euronext last year and is set to hit a series of ambitious revenue and subscriber targets by 2025.

With these relevant background details in mind, a letter from Spotify and Deezer (and Proton in Geneva, Basecamp, Schibsted in Oslo, European Publishers Council, France Digitale, and News Media Europe) states: “Just before focusing on a particular global Apple itself,

“For years, Apple has placed unreasonable restrictions on our business,” said the outraged companies and organizations mentioned. “These restrictions hinder our development and harm European consumers. These include tying the App Store to Apple’s own payment system and imposing excessive fees on app developers.” creating artificial obstacles that prevent our business from communicating freely with our customers; restricting developers from accessing their users’ data;

Predictably, given this string of complaints, the letter alleges that Apple “continues to defy all efforts of courts and regulators to address these unfair practices,” thereby leading Europe to of consumers are being harmed “immeasurably”.

“It’s time for urgent EU action to end Apple’s abuses,” Spotify and Deezer went home. “The EU has an opportunity to take the lead, but we must act quickly as each day is lost for innovation and the well-being of European consumers.”

This urgent action should begin with a “quick decision” in the aforementioned European Commission investigation into Apple, the letter’s authors said. In an early 2021 “statement of objection,” the Commission said that “Apple’s rules are distorting competition in the market for music streaming services by raising costs for competing music streaming app developers.” He expressed a ‘preliminary view’.

“That challenge is almost two years old and the abuse and harm to consumers will continue until redress is implemented,” reads the letter to Vestager. Beyond the App Store case, there is an urgent need to investigate Apple’s abuses in other areas such as publishing, web software, communications and marketplaces.”

Finally, the signatories have taken things further by lobbying the European Commission to crack down on Apple through the Digital Markets Act, which is set to become law in 2022 (along with the Digital Services Act) and come into force sometime in 2023. rice field. .

Apple and Deezer, referring to the enforcement of the DMA, said, “We must resist attempts by Apple and other gatekeepers to circumvent the rule, including vague and misleading rationales for privacy and security.” Wrapped up. “We are at your disposal and your team to share our market experience and our views on what meaningful compliance should look like.”

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