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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Amid the ongoing legal battle between Epic Games and Apple, Spotify's chief legal officer and head of global affairs Horacio Gutierrez penned an anti-App Store op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, where he summarizes Spotify's issues with Apple.


Gutierrez says that Spotify is one of the few companies that insists Apple is a "ruthless bully that uses its dominance to hobble competitors."

Spotify has long been upset with Apple's App Store fees, as the 15 to 30 percent cut that Apple takes from subscriptions means that Spotify has to either raise its prices for those who sign up via the App Store or decline to offer subscriptions on iOS at all, which is what Spotify has opted for.

Apple's "antisteering" rules prevent Spotify from directing iPhone and iPad customers to the Spotify website to sign up, which Spotify argues gives Apple Music some major advantages.
The company has also argued that Spotify pays 15% of its revenue on only 0.5% of its subscriptions. But that's because Apple's exorbitant 30% tax on new subscriptions forced us to turn off in-app purchases in 2016. It made more business sense to cut iPhone and iPad users off from a path to subscriptions than to absorb the 30% cut for new ones.
Gutierrez points out the many regulatory issues that Apple is facing in Europe and the United States. The European Commission in April found that Apple breached EU competition law with Apple Music, and in April, the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee questioned Apple's App Store policies. Spotify, Tile, and others attended the latter hearing and said that if Apple's App Store rules aren't changed, Apple will take over the internet, "limiting innovation, squashing small businesses, and all but eliminating customer choice."

Spotify is asking the U.S. to speed up its regulatory initiatives against Apple with "urgent, narrowly tailored updates" to antitrust law to "end such egregious abuses."

Gutierrez says that Spotify isn't asking for special treatment, but wants "fair treatment," and he sums up his piece by stating that Apple's "ability to strangle its competitors is unprecedented." He says that those in a position "to do something" have now "seen past Apple's facade" and are now acting on the behalf of "innovators and consumers around the world."

Article Link: Spotify Legal Chief: 'Apple's Ability to Strangle its Competitors is Unprecedented'
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macrumors 6502a
Feb 9, 2010
These are rather problematic, not just Music, but also the other categories where Apple directly competes with others in the App Store, like Fitness and Video Streaming.

It's a difficult position to compete from if you have to give 30% revenue to your competitor to begin with.


macrumors regular
Nov 12, 2014
Honestly before all this I had no idea that companies weren’t able to advertise or at least advise customers to sign up for services on their site to circumvent the Apple tax.
Seems like a lose-lose for both consumer and the company providing the service.


macrumors 601
Jul 13, 2008
Offering lossless music and Dolby Atmos to all customers in the standard tier instead of up-charging is innovation.

It’s the same as any other product or service in the tech sector where prices come down and features improve as it’s feasible to do so.

Lossless streaming is really a matter of server space and bandwidth. Once that’s figured out and assuming the cost is minimal then Apple can charge whatever price point they want.

Additionally Amazon Music HD was already pushing subscription prices down at $14.99/month.


macrumors newbie
May 18, 2021
I made an account just to comment this:

I've used spotify for years, and still have a subscription to apple via my carrier.

They are being treated fairly, maybe focus on adding features instead of whining and lobbying.

Honestly the only reason I'm using Spotify still is because of the cross-platform availability and music suggestions are better. (probably because they sale my data, but I like my music so.)

Macintosh IIvx

Mar 19, 2021
This is the same guy who enthusiastically spearheaded Microsoft's monopolistic software patent extortion scheme against open source software. And now he is worried about monopolist worms? He was the worm in Microsoft with their extortion scheme against open source. Why should anyone pay attention to what he says?


macrumors 65816
Jan 19, 2008
Is there anything stopping Spotify launching their own mobile phone?

Obviously, yes. It’s not like they can easily replicate the iPhone success. Nobody has And that’s the entire point.
I don’t think Epic has a particular good case as Apple is not a game developer. Spotify on the other hand is forced to fork over 30% of their revenue to their direct competitor, or disable in-app subscriptions.


Apr 11, 2018
I can agree that apple has the right to its cut on payments done through App Store, but apple not allowing Spotify to direct people to its website seems shady

Again, should Best Buy allow free items to exist on their shelves, advertised by them, traffic created by them, etc. with a label on the item that says pay for activation at

Even if its not free, if the item has a price tag of $19.99 but a sticker on it says "or pay for me at and pay only $14.99" no retailer on the planet would allow that.
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Jim Lahey

macrumors 68000
Apr 8, 2014
In the end, businesses exist to make money. They'd all do the same if they could. Of course anyone can make an argument that this or that is shady or unethical, but when the shoe's on the other foot...

Spotify, and any other business for that matter, Epic included, would crush Apple and not look back given half the chance. Don't hate the player etc.


macrumors 6502
May 14, 2021
apple's closed ecosystem is very well becoming a monopoly. apple may have the legal high grounds, but their strict rules along with perhaps some weak competition, is overall screwing the consumers. even if i think apple has the legal high grounds against Epic, i still hope they lose.


macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2008
wah-wah-wah. Apple began getting into this digital Music business 20 years ago. They laid the groundwork like it or not for the modern streaming platforms and services, not to mention a platform for access to their apps and how to build their apps. which has also been replicated by other mobile OS developers on other platforms. While i despise these corporate conglomerates being the only choice, these other services are only making a single component of something that is dependent on someone else's proprietary services.
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