| 25 May 2024
Spotify takes action: Submits updated EU App with pricing info amid Apple antitrust scrutiny

MUMBAI: Spotify announced today that it has submitted an updated version of its app to the App Store, tailored for users in the EU. This new version includes pricing and feature details for Spotify's various subscription plans, along with a link for users to purchase these plans directly from Spotify's website.

Pending approval from Apple, this update aims to provide users with more transparency and accessibility when it comes to subscription options. The move comes in the wake of the European Commission's recent €1.84 billion ($2 billion) fine imposed on Apple for alleged anti-competitive behavior in the music streaming market.

Following the fine, EU's competition chief, Margrethe Vestager, stated that Apple must cease its anti-steering practices, allowing music streaming developers to freely communicate with their users through various channels. Buoyed by this development, Spotify's updated app submission aligns with the Commission's directives, offering users clearer subscription information and the ability to purchase plans directly from the app.

Previously, Spotify had refrained from displaying pricing information within the app due to restrictions imposed by Apple. In January, Spotify had hinted at potential changes in response to the Digital Markets Act (DMA), including the ability to subscribe through in-app purchases and purchase audiobooks directly.

However, Apple's subsequent release of compliance guidelines limited the scope of these anticipated changes. Companies that comply with Apple's guidelines may face additional fees, such as the "core technology fee," which could significantly impact companies like Spotify with large download volumes. In its response, Spotify hailed the Commission's decision as a "powerful message" against monopolistic behavior, emphasizing the need for fair competition in the digital marketplace.

Conversely, Apple expressed its intention to appeal the EC's decision, arguing that Spotify has benefitted greatly from the App Store ecosystem without contributing proportionately. The ongoing dispute between Spotify and Apple underscores the broader challenges facing tech giants and app developers in navigating the complexities of the digital marketplace while advocating for fair competition and consumer choice.