Spotify has written a letter to Apple’s legal team, claiming Apple has caused “grave harm” to the streaming company by rejecting an app update that eliminated the in-app option to purchase a subscription through Apple.
Portions of Spotify’s June 26 letter have been shared by Recode.
The letter says Apple turned down a new version of the app while citing “business model rules” and demanded that Spotify use Apple’s billing system if “Spotify wants to use the app to acquire new customers and sell subscriptions.”
The letter, sent by Spotify general counsel Horacio Gutierrez to Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell on June 26, suggests that Spotify intends to use the standoff as ammunition in its fight over Apple’s rules governing subscription services that use its App store.
“This latest episode raises serious concerns under both U.S. and EU competition law,” Gutierrez wrote. “It continues a troubling pattern of behavior by Apple to exclude and diminish the competitiveness of Spotify on iOS and as a rival to Apple Music, particularly when seen against the backdrop of Apple’s previous anticompetitive conduct aimed at Spotify … we cannot stand by as Apple uses the App Store approval process as a weapon to harm competitors.”
The streaming firm has also sent copies of the letter to some Congressional staffers in Washington, D.C., where Senator Elizabeth Warren yesterday criticized Apple and other tech firms for what she referred to as anticompetitive practices.
The bone of contention between the two companies is the 30% Apple takes off the top for any subscriptions purchased through the Spotify app. The music streaming company has been charging $12.99 for any in-app subscription purchases, while charging only $9.99 per month for subscriptions purchased via their own website.
Apple earlier this month announced plans to change its subscription policies to take a smaller 15% of the action from any subscribers who stay subscribed to a service longer than 1 year. Spotify says those changes don’t “get to the core of the problem.”
Spotify’s current version of the app, still available in the App Store, does not include an App Store billing option, thus requiring users to subscribe via the Spotify website. It also does not point users to the website for subscriptions, which the update apparently would have.