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Spotify, Deezer, and others urge European Commission to crackdown on Apple

Apple App Store
Apple benefits from a monopoly position over its mobile ecosystem and extracts exorbitant rents from app developers, the companies wrote in the letter.


Spotify and other digital sector companies have urged the European Commission to take action against the American multinational tech giant Apple for its anti-competitive practices that have hampered their businesses. The companies signed a joint industry letter addressing Margrethe Vestager, the European Union antitrust regulator’s Executive Vice-President.


Apart from Spotify, the letter is also signed by Basecamp, Deezer, Proton, and Schibsted along with European Publishers Council, France Digitale, and News Media Europe. It called for a “swift and decisive action” majorly against the tech major’s App Store policies.


The unfair restrictions by the iPhone maker “include the tying of the App Store to Apple’s proprietary payment system, with its excessive commissions for app developers; the creation of artificial obstacles that prevent our businesses from freely communicating with our customers; restrictions to developers’ access to data of their own users; and capricious changes to terms and conditions.”


Since the Tim Cook-headed company has a monopoly over its mobile ecosystem, it charges exorbitant rents from app developers who have no choice but to remain on the App Store to reach European consumers, Spotify and others wrote in the letter.


Beyond this, the companies urged the EU authorities to look at Apple’s “abusive behaviour” in publishing, web softwares, communications, and marketplaces. Spotify, along with others, further asked the Commission to enforce the Digital Markets Act (or DMA), which aimed to control the functioning of the “gatekeepers” in the tech industry.


In a significant move in December last year, a Bloomberg report suggested that Apple is planning to allow third-party app stores on iPhones and sideloading apps in Europe. Currently, iPhone and iPad users can only download apps only from Apple App Store. The report of a significant shift in Apple’s ecosystem came at a time when the European Union adopted DMA.