Spotify calls Apple's DMA compliance plan 'extortion' and a 'complete and utter farce'


Count Spotify among those who aren't thrilled with how Apple has chosen to comply with the EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA), which sets the stage for sideloading of apps, alternative app stores, browser alternatives, and more. Does. On Friday, the streaming music company released its response to Apple's new DMA rules, calling the new fees imposed on developers “extortion” and Apple's compliance plan “a complete and utter farce,” revealing that The tech giant believes the rules don't apply. Apply to them.

Apple announced a number of changes earlier this week that comply with the letter of EU law, if not its spirit. The company said app developers in the EU would receive lower commissions, but it also introduced a new “core technology fee” that would see developers pay €0.50 for each first annual install per year over a 1 million threshold. , regardless of their distribution channel. , It will also charge a 3% payment processing fee when developers use Apple's in-app payments instead of their own.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, whose company sued Apple over antitrust concerns, had already condemned Apple's plan, saying it was a case full of “malicious compliance” and “junk fees” and Now Spotify is saying essentially the same.

The streamer, along with Epic, Match and others, has been a longtime critic of the tech giant and has pushed for increased regulation, including DMA.

In a company blog post and a series Posted on X (formerly Twitter), Following a review by Spotify's lawyers, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek shared his thoughts on Apple's DMA announcement. He began by calling the announcement “most vague and confusing” and a “new low for the company.”

One says Apple's solution is a “masterclass in distortion” because it offers app developers the option to stick to current terms or switch to a “complex new model” that may initially seem attractive, but is actually highly effective. May come with a fee. He points out that any app with tens or hundreds of millions of users in the EU will now face a new tax on every new download and update every year – something that will also affect many big apps like WhatsApp, Duolingo, X and Pinterest. Will do. As Spotify's own.

The system is explicitly designed to prevent apps from sideloading or selecting alternative means of distribution such as alternative app stores. However, without big apps available through these alternative channels, they will lose their appeal to consumers. One believes that Apple's App Store will maintain its strength.

Furthermore, due to the increased fees, Spotify doesn't even have a choice, one points out – it is forced to stick with the current system.

“Spotify itself faces an untenable situation,” he writes. “With our EU Apple install base in the 100 million range, this new tax on downloads and updates could increase our customer acquisition costs, potentially Can literally increase them tenfold. This is because we have to pay on every install or update of our free or paid apps, even for those who no longer use the service. So where does that leave us? Under the new conditions, we cannot afford these fees if we want to be a profitable company, so our only option is to maintain the status quo. “The same thing we've been fighting against for five years,” says one.

He concluded by issuing a challenge to lawmakers, saying that he hopes they will recognize what Apple is doing and stand strong, and “not let their work over the years go in vain.” The world is watching,” writes one.

One's message comes after condemnation from both Epic Games and the Coalition for App Fairness (CAF), a lobbying group whose members include Epic, Spotify, Tile, Basecamp, Match, Deezer, and dozens of smaller developers. The organization announced Thursday that Apple's new fees on direct downloads and payments violate the law, and do not actually enhance competition or fairness in the digital market.

“Apple's proposal forces developers to choose between two anti-competitive and illegal options,” Rick VanMeter, CAF executive director, said in a statement. “Either stay with the terrible status quo or adopt new complex terms that are bad for developers and consumers alike. This is another attempt to circumvent regulation, as we have seen in the United States, the Netherlands, and South Korea. Apple's 'plan' is a shameless insult to the European Commission and the millions of European consumers they represent – ​​it must not be tolerated and must be rejected by the Commission.”