Spotify lodges EU antitrust complaint against Apple

Spotify lodges EU antitrust complaint against Apple
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Spotify has filed a formal antitrust complaint against Apple with European Union competition regulators, alleging that the iPhone maker is unfairly trying to stifle the competing streaming service.

“Apple operates a platform that, for over a billion people around the world, is the gateway to the internet,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek wrote in a blog post on Wednesday. “Apple is both the owner of the iOS platform and the App Store — and a competitor to services like Spotify. In theory, this is fine. But in Apple’s case, they continue to give themselves an unfair advantage at every turn.”

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One of Spotify’s complaints is that it must choose between paying the 30 percent fee that Apple imposes on purchases made through its app store — which Ek says would “artificially inflate” the price of Spotify’s premium service so that it costs more than Apple Music — or accept technical limitations imposed by Apple restricting how it can improve its app or interact with customers.

Apple did not immediately respond when asked for comment.

The complaint comes as policymakers are increasingly scrutinizing tech companies’ market power. Last week, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann Warren2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Sanders doubles down on Bolivia 'coup,' few follow suit Overnight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul MORE (D-Mass.), a 2020 presidential candidate, proposed breaking up Apple and other tech giants that own both an internet platform and a company that competes on that platform.

Later this month, Warren and other Democratic candidates will travel to rural Iowa to debate antitrust enforcement.