Spotify har meldt Apple til EUs konkurrencemyndigheder. Nu svarer Apple igen.
Spotify er ude med flere anklager over Apple. Det handler om at Spotify mener at praksis og priser i og omkring Apple App Store er konkurrenceforvridende.
Spotify har derfor klaget til EUs konkurrencemyndigheder, der nu overvejer om det er en sag til deres bord.
“Vi tager Spotify’s klage meget alvorligt”, fortæller Margrethe Vestager, konkurrencekommissær i EU, til avisen Tagesspiegel, og fortsætter:
“Det er ikke noget et firma som Spotify bare tyr til. Men de siger at de ikke ser nogen anden mulighed, og sagen er alvorlig for dem. Vi overvejer nu, om det er en sag for os – den europæiske konkurrencemyndighed”.
Men hvad strides parterne om? Herunder de anklagepunkter Spotify har opstillet, og Apples svar til dem.
Vi har valgt at bringe anklager og svar på originalsproget, engelsk.
1. Spotify: Apple nægterne forbrugerne et reelt valg
Dette klagepunkt handler om at Spotify mener at Apple lægger forhindringer ud, ved at have strikse krav til hvordan apps må sælge produkter, her abonnementer.
De må f.eks. ikke køre kampagner eller lægge skift af abonnement ind i app’en, og Apple har rutinemæssigt forsinket opdateringer og forbedringer, lyder anklagen fra Spotify.
Apple denies consumers true choice
Apple arbitrarily moves the goalposts and frequently changes the rules for competitors. They bar Spotify from communicating directly with our customers who access Spotify via Apple platforms. Our customers aren’t allowed to hear from us about our deals and promotions or about ways they can take advantage of opportunities to upgrade their service via the App.
Apple has also routinely rejected and delayed upgrades and enhancements to the Spotify app that we develop to improve functionality and our customers’ experience — and intentionally does so at business critical moments for us. Importantly, they put none of these roadblocks in front of their own music service.
Spotify claims we’re blocking their access to products and updates to their app.
Let’s clear this one up right away. We’ve approved and distributed nearly 200 app updates on Spotify’s behalf, resulting in over 300 million downloaded copies of the Spotify app. The only time we have requested adjustments is when Spotify has tried to sidestep the same rules that every other app follows.
We’ve worked with Spotify frequently to help them bring their service to more devices and platforms:
– When we reached out to Spotify about Siri and AirPlay 2 support on several occasions, they’ve told us they’re working on it, and we stand ready to help them where we can.
– Spotify is deeply integrated into platforms like CarPlay, and they have access to the same app development tools and resources that any other developer has.
– We found Spotify’s claims about Apple Watch especially surprising. When Spotify submitted their Apple Watch app in September 2018, we reviewed and approved it with the same process and speed with which we would any other app. In fact, the Spotify Watch app is currently the No. 1 app in the Watch Music category.
Spotify is free to build apps for — and compete on — our products and platforms, and we hope they do.
2. Spotify: Apple pålægger en diskriminerende 30% skat
Denne anklage handler om at Apple tager en procentdel af omsætningen, for abonnementer der tegnes og betales gennem App Store.
Første år er det 30% af omsætningen på de abonnenter der skal afleveres til Apple, herefter falder det til 15%.
Det er ens for alle, eller næsten for alle, for Apple har også sin egen musiktjeneste der pga. denne forretningsmodel kan være favoriseret overfor konkurrenterne. Det bliver noget af det EUs konkurrencemyndigheder skal se på, såfremt de vælger at tage sagen op.
Apple imposes a discriminatory 30% tax
To share the Spotify app with fans on iOS, we have two choices:
1) Use Apple’s payment system and be forced to pay their 30% fee, which Apple’s music service doesn’t have to pay, meaning we cannot be price competitive or
2) reject the tax and face what is essentially a gag order, limiting the ways we can communicate with our fans about amazing deals and promotions – never getting the opportunity to share things like our offer for three months of Premium for only 99 cents. (In fact, if we don’t pay the tax, we can’t even say “Get Premium” or provide helpful hints on how/when/where you can upgrade.)
Either option creates a poor experience for our customers, making it often impossible for them to get the audio content they want, the way they want it and with the ease they expect from a company like Spotify.
Spotify wants all the benefits of a free app without being free.
A full 84 percent of the apps in the App Store pay nothing to Apple when you download or use the app. That’s not discrimination, as Spotify claims; it’s by design:
– Apps that are free to you aren’t charged by Apple.
– Apps that earn revenue exclusively through advertising — like some of your favorite free games — aren’t charged by Apple.
– App business transactions where users sign up or purchase digital goods outside the app aren’t charged by Apple.
– Apps that sell physical goods — including ride-hailing and food delivery services, to name a few — aren’t charged by Apple.
The only contribution that Apple requires is for digital goods and services that are purchased inside the app using our secure in-app purchase system. As Spotify points out, that revenue share is 30 percent for the first year of an annual subscription — but they left out that it drops to 15 percent in the years after.
That’s not the only information Spotify left out about how their business works:
– The majority of customers use their free, ad-supported product, which makes no contribution to the App Store.
– A significant portion of Spotify’s customers come through partnerships with mobile carriers. This generates no App Store contribution, but requires Spotify to pay a similar distribution fee to retailers and carriers.
– Even now, only a tiny fraction of their subscriptions fall under Apple’s revenue-sharing model. Spotify is asking for that number to be zero.
Let’s be clear about what that means. Apple connects Spotify to our users. We provide the platform by which users download and update their app. We share critical software development tools to support Spotify’s app building. And we built a secure payment system — no small undertaking — which allows users to have faith in in-app transactions. Spotify is asking to keep all those benefits while also retaining 100 percent of the revenue.
Spotify wouldn’t be the business they are today without the App Store ecosystem, but now they’re leveraging their scale to avoid contributing to maintaining that ecosystem for the next generation of app entrepreneurs. We think that’s wrong.
3. Spotify: Apple overtræder loven
Det sidste punkt fra Spotify er at de mener Apple overtræder loven, med de forretningsmodeller og den praksis der er omkring 3.parts apps som Spotifys.
Apples afsluttende kommentar er ikke et direkte svar til denne anklage. Istedet påpeger de at en afgørelse ved instansen ‘US Copyright Royalty Board’ er gået Spotify imod, og afgørelsen blev at Spotify skal til at betale kunsterne en større del af kagen.
Apple’s actions violate the law
For companies big and small, competition doesn’t work unless everyone has a fair chance. Apple once operated as if vibrant and fair competition for customers was the best business strategy.
Unfortunately, their actions indicate Apple no longer believes that — to the unfair and unlawful detriment of Spotify and our customers. Apple has intentionally made it worse and worse for Spotify and other app developers.
And it’s unnecessary: there is enough market potential for numerous companies to thrive in this space. It’s not Apple’s role to decide who the winners and losers will be. They must stop interfering and let competition work.
Apples afsluttende kommentar
What does that have to do with music? A lot.
We share Spotify’s love of music and their vision of sharing it with the world. Where we differ is how you achieve that goal. Underneath the rhetoric, Spotify’s aim is to make more money off others’ work. And it’s not just the App Store that they’re trying to squeeze — it’s also artists, musicians and songwriters.
Just this week, Spotify sued music creators after a decision by the US Copyright Royalty Board required Spotify to increase its royalty payments. This isn’t just wrong, it represents a real, meaningful and damaging step backwards for the music industry.
Apple’s approach has always been to grow the pie. By creating new marketplaces, we can create more opportunities not just for our business, but for artists, creators, entrepreneurs and every “crazy one” with a big idea. That’s in our DNA, it’s the right model to grow the next big app ideas and, ultimately, it’s better for customers.
We’re proud of the work we’ve done to help Spotify build a successful business reaching hundreds of millions of music lovers, and we wish them continued success — after all, that was the whole point of creating the App Store in the first place.