Spotify challenged Apple’s AppStore terms in front of EU officials

Spotify challenges Apple’s terms in front of EU officials
The Apple tax? Sucks. The Apple gatekeeping model that cleverly convinces users that Apple is the go-to solution? Also sucks. That’s a really quick and rephrased TL;DR of Spotify’s requests during a stakeholders workshop organized by the European Union (EU).

But let’s pause for a moment and elaborate on why those two are bad. From a developer’s point of view, losing 30% of profit to Apple just for having your service available on their AppStore leads to artificially inflated prices, while forbidding communication between end-users and app developers distances the product from the target audience.

But like all solid arguments in life, this too is a coin. And on the other hand, Apple’s continuous stance has a good reason behind its unyielding nature: privacy and security. If the floodgates become opened, we can’t possibly trust every developer out there to not try and take advantage of the situation to extort users through data theft. And that’s just one item on Apple’s list of concerns.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s look at the official way that Spotify’s request was phrased:

  • Allow an alternative option for in-app purchases on iOS
  • Allow developers/companies to have direct communication with consumers

And this is the part where we ask you to stop us if you haven’t heard the above requests before. Apple and their AppStore are under tons of pressure right now, on a global level. Requests just like these are flying left and right, and the overall vibe of the situation is that the bubble will burst eventually.

As an additional bit of context, all of this is regarding the EU’s Digital Marketing Act (DMA) — the very same document that made us excited to see an iPhone with a USB-C charging port. The event at which Spotify expressed its concerns was related to overall app store — as in, not only on iOS — concerns, but the music streaming service’s Gene Burrus, Director of Global Competition Policy, didn’t miss the opportunity to take a direct approach.

While the Cupertino Company acknowledged that it understands its obligations towards the DMA act, it did not move an inch regarding AppStore regulations and terms. Other companies refuted the statement by expressing their beliefs that Apple does not have exclusivity over the concept of “security”, which basically means they called them out.

While this workshop was never conducted with the idea of reaching a definitive resolution, the fact of the matter is that both sides are holding ground firmly. As the DMA act’s implementation moves further along the pipeline, only time will tell what compromises will the two factions make in order to comply with the act, and each other.

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