Apple and Spotify are engaged in a bitter antitrust battle in Europe, with Spotify claiming that Apple’s App Store rules give it an unfair advantage over competitors. Apple has now responded to Spotify’s claims in a new filing with the European Commission.
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The filling was first reported by German newspaper Der Spiegel. In the document, Apple accuses Spotify of knowingly presenting false information regarding the fees it pays to Apple through the App Store.
In March, Spotify’s public PR campaign against Apple focused on the company of charging a 30 percent “tax” on all App Store transactions. In actuality, Apple now says that Spotify isn’t paying the 30 percent fee on any of its subscribers.
Essentially, Spotify only offered the ability to sign up for a subscription through its iOS app from 2014 until 2016. For subscriptions, Apple charges a 30 fee for the first year, then a 15 percent fee each year after that. All of the subscribers that Spotify acquired though its iOS app are long since out of that 1-year window.
Apple also underscores in its response that Spotify only pays Apple a fee on just over 0.5 percent of its total subscribers. As noted by CNET, Spotify has around 100 million paying subscribers. Apple says that Spotify acquired 680,000 subscribers through its iOS app. That means that Spotify gives Apple a cut on only .68 percent of its total subscribers.
This response from Apple marks the first time Apple has formally responded to Spotify’s European Commission complaint. Immediately after Spotify’s initial PR campaign in March, Apple publicly responded to the accusations made by Spotify, but as of earlier this month, it had not yet filed a formal response to the commission.
What ultimately comes of Spotify’s European Commission complaint against Apple remains to be seen. In the interim, however, it has turned into a public war of words that isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.