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January 30, 2024

Spotify Slams Apple's Compliance with EU Digital Markets Act as "Extortion"

Add Spotify to the list of dissatisfied voices regarding Apple's approach to adhering to the EU’s DMA

In a dramatic clash echoing through the corridors of tech titans, Spotify has emerged as a vocal critic of Apple's response to the EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA), accusing the tech giant of veering into "extortion" territory. The EU's DMA aims to foster competition by opening avenues for sideloading apps, alternative app stores, and more, but Spotify's latest salvo suggests Apple's interpretation falls short of the mark.

The brewing feud reached fever pitch when Spotify CEO Daniel Ek took to the company blog and social media platform X to deliver a scathing assessment of Apple's compliance plan. Ek's critique paints Apple's strategy as a "complete and total farce," decrying what he sees as a blatant disregard for the DMA's principles.

Apple's response earlier this week outlined measures such as reduced commissions for EU app developers. However, Spotify, alongside other industry heavyweights like Epic Games, swiftly condemned the move as a case of "malicious compliance," echoing concerns over what they dub as "junk fees."

Ek's impassioned commentary exposes what he perceives as Apple's attempt to maintain its hegemony over the app distribution landscape. He argues that the new fee structure, particularly the "core technology fee" and payment processing charges, imposes significant financial burdens on app developers, effectively stifling competition.

Furthermore, Ek highlights the ripple effects of Apple's policy on consumer choice and innovation, asserting that the system is engineered to discourage alternative distribution channels like sideloading or independent app stores. This, he contends, consolidates Apple's dominance and undermines the DMA's objectives.

The Spotify CEO's appeal to lawmakers underscores the gravity of the situation, urging them to uphold the DMA's integrity and resist Apple's purported circumvention tactics. As the battle lines are drawn, Ek's rallying cry reverberates across the industry, amplifying calls for regulatory intervention to ensure a fair and competitive digital marketplace.

Josefina Dipaolo
Josefina Dipaolo
Content writer at TechNews180
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