Spotify has approached British Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to probe Apple’s rejection of its audiobook updates according to The Telegraph.
Recently, New York Times reported that Spotify wanted to introduce audiobooks on its mobile app including iOS with links to its external website for users to purchase audiobooks. However, the App Store review team rejected multiple audiobook updates of the streamer. Apple argued that the updates circumvented rules against offering “web addresses and language that encourages customers to make purchases outside its app.”
Spotify’s audiobook update was only approved after the company removed the purchase button from the email sent to the customers and added “You can’t buy audiobooks in the app. We know, it’s not ideal”, language on the landing page.
Spotify wants the CMA to accelerate the probe into Apple’s App Store practices
The report states that Spotify executives met with CMA officials to raise concerns about the App Store’s rejection of its audiobook updates and call on the regulators to accelerate its inquiry into Apple.
CMA is already investigating Apple over its App Store practices. The initial findings of the inquiry published in early 2022 found that Apple and Google have a “stranglehold” over digital apps and content distribution.
Apple Insider reports that CMA has updated its site to notify that it has extended investigations into the Cupertino tech giant and its Apple Store as of October 31, 2022, and would release more details and decisions in January 2023.
It might be coincidental that CMA extended the probe at the same time when Spotify approached the regulatory body, but it does appear a bit suspicious.
While the timing lines up with the report, it isn’t clear if Spotify spurred the extension for investigation or not. The anonymous tipster only suggested that the company had met with the CMA a week prior to the report.
The EU is also investigating Apple over Spotify’s complaint filed in 2019.