Spotify has strongly criticized Apple for implementing new transaction fees of up to 27% in the United States. Apple recently announced that it would permit app developers to sell products outside of its own store, but developers would still be required to pay a commission.
Spotify labeled this move as “outrageous” and accused Apple of doing whatever it takes to safeguard its profits. The music streaming service is now urging the British government to prevent the imposition of similar fees in the UK.
Apple’s decision to introduce these fees in the US comes as a resolution to a protracted legal battle with Fortnite developer Epic Games.
Although the court ruled in favor of Apple on several issues, Apple violated a law by not allowing app developers to inform users about alternative payment methods, including links that bypass Apple’s App Store payment system.
Under the existing system, Apple charges major developers a 30% fee for using its payment system, while smaller developers pay around 15%. Notably, 85% of developers do not pay any fee at all.
Following the court ruling, Apple has implemented new rules in the US that allow users to subscribe to services without using its payment system, but developers will now face a commission of up to 27%. Apple has not yet provided a comment on the matter.
Apple Defends New Transaction Fees Amid Spotify Criticism
In response to Spotify’s criticism of Apple’s new transaction fees, court documents filed by Apple state that the commission charge is in compliance with the court ruling, emphasizing that App Store developers benefit from Apple’s services, including platform integrity, marketing, external advertising, and a secure environment for users.
Spotify reacted strongly, expressing anger over Apple’s policy, stating that it contradicts the US court’s attempt to foster greater competition. Spotify has a history of challenging Apple over its fees and, in this instance, called for the UK government’s intervention.
Spotify’s statement read, “Once again, Apple has demonstrated that they will stop at nothing to protect the profits they exact on the backs of developers and consumers under their app store monopoly.”
The company urged UK lawmakers to pass the Digital Markets, Competition, and Consumer Bill swiftly to prevent Apple from implementing similar fees in the UK, fostering a more competitive and innovative tech industry.
The UK government’s Digital Markets Bill, introduced last year to address the power of tech giants, would empower authorities to consider targeted measures regarding app store transactions to maintain open and competitive digital markets.
However, a government spokesperson declined to comment on specific cases, stating that it is not for them to do so.