When choosing not to use this system, Spotify could no longer allow its customers to upgrade to the premium plans through the app itself.
Spotify has filed a complaint with European regulators arguing that Apple limits choice and competition in its app store, giving its own music streaming service an unfair advantage over rivals. This in return leads to a price inflation of Spotify's Premium membership, causing the company to be unable to fairly compete with the pricing of Apple's own music streaming service, Apple Music. When Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) launched its music service in the European Union, they were able to be both the platform holder as well as a competitor to Spotify. He reckons the Apple-licensed "App Store" should remain objectively unbiased with the market place should remain inconquerable. He explained that the charge could push Spotify to inflate its prices above the cost for a subscription to Apple Music, Apple's music streaming service. Ek says that if the company doesn't comply with Apple's tax, it faces "a series of technical and experience-limiting restrictions", on its app. Ek added that Apple "routinely blocks our experience-enhancing upgrades", locking competitors out of Apple devices such as Siri, Apple Watch and Homepod.
How Apple handles that dual role of gatekeeper to iOS and also an app and services provider is part of Spotify's justification for its complaint to the European Commission (EC), according to the firm.
Spotify began emailing customers in 2015 that they should cancel subscriptions purchased through Apple's App Store.
Spotify's claims, while Europe-based, come just days after USA presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren said she would move to break up Apple for reasons that resonate with Spotify's complaint. This fee was 30% of app sales until 2016 when it was lowered to 15% on subscriptions. In some cases, we aren't even allowed to send emails to our customers who use Apple. We simply want the same treatment as numerous other apps on the App Store, like Uber or Deliveroo, who aren't subject to the Apple tax and therefore don't have the same restrictions.
"All of these actions by Apple make it untenable for us as a competitor, and for us as a player in the global competitive ecosystem, to stand by and not take action", said Mr Gutierrez.
Secondly consumers should have a choice of payment systems and shouldn't be locked in or forced to use systems with discriminatory tariffs such as Apple's. Ek believes "we should all be subject to the same fair set of rules and restrictions" - including Apple Music.
We've reached out to both companies and will update if we hear back.