Spotify CEO on Apple and Google: “If you want to be a judge, you can't be a player at the same time”

Julie Clover

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek is calling on UK lawmakers to pass legislation that would regulate competition in digital markets and reduce the dominance of Apple, Google and other big tech companies.

The UK's Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers (DMCC) Bill would allow competition authorities to impose requirements on companies' behavior and “promote competition” when policy the company “has an adverse effect on competition.” Ek has long advocated for legislation that would limit Apple's ability to offer a platform (iOS) and compete on that platform with apps like Spotify, which competes with Apple Music.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Ek said Apple and Google's control over how billions of consumers access the Internet is “insane.”

“They not only dictate the rules, but they compete directly with these providers,” Ek said. Ek wants the UK bill to ensure that a company that is an arbiter in a digital market “cannot also be a player”. The DMCC should have “real teeth,” he said, adding that the bill was meant for all developers. “More and more developers are discovering that Apple is a competitor,” he said.

If passed, the DMCC would give the UK Competition and Markets Authority the power to impose multi-billion-dollar fines on large companies that break the rules. Technology companies will be required to provide greater transparency into how their app stores operate, and regulators will be able to open up certain markets such as app stores or search engines.

Spotify has been feuding with Apple for years, with the dispute between the two companies most recent The issue flared up in 2022 when Apple rejected an update to the Spotify app that added support for audiobooks. Spotify filed a complaint with European Union regulators back in 2019 about Apple's App Store practices, which are still under investigation. app stores.

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