Apple fires back at Spotify over billing tiff
It didn’t take long for Apple’s general counsel to respond to claims made by Spotify’s general counsel of anti-competitiveness and with the rejection of an app update for the music streaming service and a demand that the company take payments through iTunes.
Spotify thinks it shouldn’t have to use the iTunes billing system that Apple mandates be used for all in-app purchases on iOS. Apple takes a 30 percent cut of each subscription payment made — Spotify passed it on to consumers before being allegedly told by Apple it couldn’t promote a heavily discounted trial offer through its website to iPhone customers. The Swedish company stopped using the iTunes system this month in its iOS app.
“There is nothing in Apple’s conduct that ‘amounts to a violation of applicable antitrust laws,'” Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell wrote in a letter obtained by BuzzFeed News.
Sewell lashed back at Spotify by saying that its rules apply to all media and app distributors in its ecosystem and that the company “wants things to be different by asking for preferential treatment from Apple.” He went on to promote the new app revenue model that Apple is adopting, which decreases the company’s cut of revenue per subscription to 15 percent if it is kept for longer than a year.
The core of the issue is where Apple claims that Spotify is breaking its rules. It seems that Cupertino was not happy that the in-app purchase system was shut down in favor of a prompt, “an account sign-up feature clearly intended to circumvent Apple’s in-app purchase rules.” Apple claims that a follow-up email nudging prospective subscribers to sign up through Spotify’s website was a crossing a clear red line.
“I would be happy to facilitate an expeditious review and approval of your app as soon as you provide us with something that is compliant with the App Store’s rules.”
A Spotify representative tweeted out what may be the prompt that’s at the center of this mess as a response to Sewell’s letter.
— jonathan prince (@jonathanmprince) July 1, 2016
No email space, either, but that’s just one snapshot, one version of the story. Stay informed.