Apple Comes Back at Spotify Over App Update Controversy

Last week, Spotify was calling Apple out for being “anticompetitive” because Apple would not approve of an update they wanted to propose.

The company’s App Store rejected an app update for Spotify that would promote users who subscribed for the service through the site rather than the app. This would in turn reduce the amount of monetary value shared with the competitor, Apple.  One of Spotify’s top lawyers accused the big fruit tech company and its music division (Apple Music) for “us[ing] the App Store approval process as a weapon to harm competitors.” And so, in a letter sent by Apple’s General Counsel Bruce Sewell on Friday, they claimed that Spotify was “asking for exemptions to the rules [that] apply to all developers and are publicly resorting to rumors and half-truths about [the] service.”

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Essentially, the letter is highlighting the fact that Spotify has benefited a lot from the App Store and requests for the company to update its app to make it compatible with the App Store’s developer guidelines. Sewell then went on to explain:

“Our investment in the App Store is not trivial — any great retailer will tell you there is an incredible amount of effort that goes into maintaining their store. However, if a customer chooses to sign up for a digital product outside of the App Store the developer does not pay us anything, and their content will still work inside of Apple devices. To imply that Spotify should not have to pay to avail itself of the benefits of Apple’s hard work, just as every other developer does, would give you a tremendous advantage over other developers. It’s simply unfair and unreasonable. We understand you want special treatment and protections from competition, but we simply will not do that because we firmly adhere to the principle of treating all developers fairly and equally.”

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Furthermore, the company has changed its rules in the past few months giving app subscriptions, like Spotify, ability to keep more revenue from their subscribers after the first year. If Spotify does not follow the required guidelines, then Apple will not approve of the update.

Yikes, what do you guys think of this feud? Who’s right in this controversy?

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