Oh, boy. This is a good one.
Picture, if you will, a world in which Apple’s App Store is not the biggest, baddest dog on the block.
That could happen if Spotify wins a charge it has leveled against the iPhone mega-company.
And one analyst says if Spotify is successful, the “App Store monopoly is finished” in Europe.
The way this works is that the European Union is readying charges against Apple related to Spotify’s complaints and, though it would be only a step in a long process, it would turn the tables and force Apple to defend itself against those charges.
At the heart of the action is the perceived unfair advantage Apple owns by dictating terms in its App Store.
In 2019, Spotify filed a complaint with the European Commission alleging an “unfair advantage at every turn.”
Underscoring the lack of fairness, Spotify said the App Store rules limit choice and stifle innovation.
“Spotify targets Apple’s 30% cut — it refers to as a ‘tax’ — as a key element of its complaint but also references rules about how Apple restricts third-party app developers from communicating with customers. Ultimately, Spotify wants Apple Music to be forced to abide by the same rules that Apple imposes on third-party apps.”
To which Apple replied:
“Apple says that Spotify is spreading a ‘misleading rhetoric’. It cites how Spotify makes most of its revenue from advertising and mobile carrier partner deals, of which Apple takes no cut at all. The In-App Purchase subscriptions are a small percentage of Spotify’s business — and Spotify wants to pay Apple zero for those subscription sales meaning they are essentially taking the benefits of a free app and Apple receives no compensation at all from Spotify’s operations.”
This sets up for a very interesting real-life court drama.