Spotify again calls on Apple to face consequences for its role as the “gatekeeper of the Internet.” This time, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek expressed his frustration in an interview with the Financial Times, calling on the UK government to “show leadership” and crack down on Apple and other companies.
One of the glaring holes in Ek's comments, however, is that Spotify still isn't taking full advantage of the tools Apple offers to help level the playing field…
In his comments, Ek accused Apple and Google of “essentially” controlling how “four billion consumers access the Internet around the world.” Ek's comments came as he was in the UK to lobby on the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill. As the Financial Times explains, the bill would “regulate competition in digital markets” and is currently before Parliament.
The full quote looks like this:
“I think it's crazy that two companies [Apple and Google] actually control how over 4 billion consumers access the Internet around the world. world. Not only do they dictate the rules, but they also compete directly with these suppliers.”
Eck says the UK has the potential to “be nimble now and show leadership” in pursuing Apple and Google. In a post-Brexit world, Eck said the country has the opportunity to “[set] its own agenda” in this regard.
“Imagine it’s a shopping center and literally half the population of the UK is in that shopping centre,” he said, adding that companies competing directly with Apple were forced to pay commissions on in-app sales. “This is where it becomes anti-competitive.”
“This affects every developer,” he said. “More and more developers are now discovering that Apple is a competitor.”
Best comment by Jason Moriarty
I love that his mall analogy leads to nothing. It's as if he realized that every store in a mall must pay rent to the mall owner to keep his stores there, in exchange for meeting infrastructure needs (parking, environmental, utilities) and having a reliable customer base (ensuring that others stores will attract people). , have a food court, clean hallways, etc.).
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Spotify has been a vocal critic of Apple's App Store policies around the world, arguing that the company has an unfair advantage over competitors. His complaints typically focus primarily on Apple Music, but Ek's comments today show he's also focused on the broader App Store ecosystem.
Apple is currently facing an EU investigation as part of Spotify's antitrust complaints. The EU's upcoming Digital Markets Act could also force Apple to make broader changes to the App Store and iPhone, including opening the iPhone to third-party app stores and side-loading.
Despite Spotify's vocal criticism of Apple, the company is not taking full advantage of the tools Apple offers to third-party developers. For example, the company does not support the HomePod Siri music API, launched in 2020.
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