Spotify has launched a scathing critique against Apple for imposing transaction fees of up to 27% in the US, characterising the move as “outrageous” and accusing Apple of relentless profit protection. The clash follows Apple’s announcement permitting app developers to sell products outside its store while still mandating commissions. Spotify vehemently opposes the fees and urges the British government to prevent similar charges in the UK.
Apple’s decision to introduce these fees in the US stems from a prolonged legal battle with Fortnite developer Epic Games. Although the court ruled in favour of Apple on various fronts, it found Apple in violation of a law by restricting app developers from informing users about alternative payment methods, bypassing Apple’s App Store payment system.
While Apple charges the largest developers a 30% fee (15% for smaller developers and no fee for 85% of developers), the new rules in the US allow users to subscribe to services without using Apple’s system but impose a commission of up to 27% on developers.
Apple defends the commission charge as compliant with the court ruling, asserting that App Store developers benefit from its services, including platform integrity, marketing, advertising, and a secure environment for users.
Spotify vehemently opposes Apple’s policy, stating it contradicts the US court’s intent to foster greater competition. The music streaming giant accuses Apple of prioritising profits over developers and consumers, emphasising the need for government intervention.
Calling for swift action, Spotify urges the UK government to pass the Digital Markets, Competition, and Consumer Bill to prevent Apple from implementing similar fees. The bill aims to curb the power of tech giants and empower authorities to consider measures ensuring open and competitive digital markets.
While the UK government’s spokesperson mentioned the bill’s aim to address app store transactions, they refrained from commenting on specific cases, leaving the possibility of intervention against Apple uncertain after the bill’s passage.