Apple has fired back at Spotify, following that streaming service’s accusation that Apple uses the App Store approval process as “a weapon to harm competitors.” Apple says it has responded to the charges to “set the record straight.”
In a letter sent to Spotify general counsel Horacio Gutierrez on Friday, Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell rebutted the streaming music service’s June 26 allegations that Apple is “causing grave harm to Spotify and its customers” by rejecting a recent update to Spotify’s iOS app. “We find it troubling that you are asking for exemptions to the rules we apply to all developers and are publicly resorting to rumors and half-truths about our service,” Sewell wrote in a letter obtained by BuzzFeed News.
Spotify on Thursday had alleged that Apple had rejected a new version of its app, citing “business model” rules as the reason for the rejection. The music streaming firm also claimed Apple told them they would have to use Apple’s billing system, if they planned to sell subscriptions.
“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.”
Not surprisingly, Apple’s legal counsel disagrees. with Sewell saying:
“Our guidelines apply equally to all app developers, whether they are game developers, e-book sellers, video-streaming services or digital music distributors; and regardless of whether or not they compete against Apple. We did not alter our behavior or our rules when we introduced our own music streaming service or when Spotify became a competitor,” Sewell explains. “Ironically, it is now Spotify that wants things to be different by asking for preferential treatment from Apple.”
Both companies have declined to comment on the letter.
Apple’s letter can be read in full at the Buzzfeed website.