Spotify: Apple has ‘defied’ the EU by blocking latest update with pricing info

Yesterday we learned that Spotify decided to pass on Apple’s new EU terms that would allow it to use alternative payment methods due to the Core Technology Fee. Instead, it submitted an app update with pricing info and details on how to subscribe outside of the App Store without giving users a link. Now Spotify says Apple has unjustly blocked the update and again “defied the European Commission”.


Update 6:46 am PT: Apple has shared with 9to5Mac that Spotify must use the EEA Music Streaming Services Entitlement to include “calls to action” to purchase outside the App Store.


Spotify reiterated its belief yesterday that Apple is aiming to “punish developers with new fees” as part of its rules to use an alternative payment method in the EU. That’s why the music giant chose to submit an update and stick with the legacy App Store system.

However, Apple didn’t approve the update – due to Spotify including price information and instructions on how to sign up outside the App Store – saying it would need to request an entitlement and pay Apple a 27% commission.

Spotify is arguing since it didn’t include a link in the latest update submission, it shouldn’t have to get an entitlement and pay the commission. And it shouldn’t be forced to use an entitlement and a link to “communicate with consumers through in-app links”.

A Spotify spokesperson shared this statement with 9to5Mac this morning:

“Apple has once again defied the European Commission’s decision, rejecting our update for attempting to communicate with customers about our prices unless we pay Apple a new tax. Their disregard for consumers and developers is matched only by their disdain for the law.”

We’ve reached out to Apple for its perspective on the matter. In any case, it looks like Spotify and Apple will be continuing to battle it out around how the DMA should be implemented in the EU.

As a refresher, last month, Apple was hit with a $2 billion fine in the EU for “abusive” App Store rules for music streaming services. Along with the fine, the European Commission also said Apple must relax its anti-steering rules. However, Apple has rejected the ruling and is appealing the case.

Top image by 9to5Mac

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Michael Potuck