Spotify again attacks Apple for its gatekeeper-like policies

Spotify and other digital companies are again accusing Apple of unfair tactics. As reported by the Financial Times, Spotify, Deezer, and other digital platforms are urging EU regulators to put new policies in place in order to help smaller companies compete with the likes of Apple and Amazon…

In a letter to Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, Spotify cofounder Daniel Ek and Deezer CEO Hans-Holger Albrecht are calling on regulators to enact methods to ensure a “level playing field.” Specifically, the two say that platforms that are “regularly abusing their advantaged position” must loosen their grip and stop acting as gatekeepers.

Spotify, for instance, says it’s unfair that when a user subscribes to the service via iOS, Apple takes a 30 percent cut of the subscription fee.

Interestingly, Apple announced last year that it was changing how it handles revenue sharing for subscriptions. For the first year, the company still splits it 70/30, but for subscriptions active for longer than one year, that changes to an 85/15 percent sharing model. Spotify, however, doesn’t think this change is enough.

In addition to Deezer and Spotify, U.K. shopping comparison site Foundem also signs on. Foundem says it’s the responsibility of the European Commission to create “clear and enforceable obligations that are a deterrent and prevent unfair businesses practices by platforms.” Foundem explains that platforms should act as gateways rather than gatekeepers:

“These obligations should include but go beyond mere transparency requirements, which alone will not ensure platforms act as gateways rather than become gatekeepers to the digital economy.”

This isn’t the first time Spotify has gone after Apple for its “gatekeeper” mentality. Earlier this year, the company accused both Apple and Google of monopolistic-type behavior. Furthermore, Spotify claimed last year that Apple rejected a version of its iOS app that attempted to push In-App Purchases outside of Apple’s own system.

It’s ultimately unclear what might come of the latest complaints from Spotify and Deezer about Apple’s practices. Both have been very vocal about their issues with Apple, but few changes have come because of the complaints.

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