During the ongoing legal battle between Epic Games and Apple, Spotify’s Chief Legal Officer Horacio Gutierrez referred to Apple as a “ruthless bully that uses its dominance to hobble competitors”. Gutirrez said that “Apple’s ability to strangle its competitors is unprecedented,” and he referred to the Epic Games trial as evidence that “Spotify is no longer alone” in its criticism of the tech giant.
Chief Legal Officer for Spotify calls Apple a ‘ruthless bully’ amid the ongoing trial of Epic Games vs Apple
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Gutirrez reiterated some of Spotify’s main talking points against Apple, including criticism of the company’s 30% commission cut of in-app purchases and subscriptions, along with anti-steering policies that restrict developers from providing non-App Store subscriptions.
The company has also argued that Spotify pays 15% of its revenue on only 0.5% of its subscriptions. But that’s because Apple’s exorbitant 30% tax on new subscriptions forced us to turn off in-app purchases in 2016. It made more business sense to cut iPhone and iPad users off from a path to subscriptions than to absorb the 30% cut for new ones.
Last month the European Commission announced its Statement of Objections, an important formal step in antitrust investigations, in response to a complaint Spotify filed two years ago about Apple’s behavior. The commission is concerned about two aspects of the company’s app-store policies. First, Apple forces app developers to use its payment system and to hand over 30% of all new subscription fees for the privilege.
Gutierrez pointed out many of Apple’s current antitrust problems in the U.S and Europe. In April, the European Commission ruled that the company was in violation of its antitrust laws with Apple Music. It was decided that if Apple’s App Store rules are not altered, the company will eventually take over the internet “limiting innovation, squashing small businesses, and all but eliminating customer service.”
According to Gutierrez, Spotify is not looking for any special treatment whatsoever, instead, it wants “fair treatment”. He further says that those in a position “to do something” have now “seen past Apple’s facade” and are not acting on the behalf of “innovators and consumers around the world.”
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