Spotify legal chief calls Apple a 'ruthless bully' that stifles competition

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in General Discussion
Amid the ongoing Epic Games v. Apple trial, Spotify Chief Legal Officer Horacio Gutierrez called Apple a "ruthless bully that uses its dominance to hobble competitors."

Credit: Spotify
Credit: Spotify


In an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal on Monday, Gutierrez said that "Apple's ability to strangle its competitors is unprecedented," and used the trial with Epic Games as evidence that "Spotify is no longer alone" in its criticism of the Cupertino tech giant.

Gutierrez also reiterated some of Spotify's main talking points against Apple, including criticism of the company's 30% cut of in-app purchases and subscriptions and anti-steering provisions that prohibit developers from advertising non-App Store subscriptions.

"Apple will tell you that this is overwrought, that Spotify is seeking special treatment," Gutierrez wrote, adding later that Spotify is only looking for "fair treatment."

The Spotify legal chief also highlighted some of Apple's current antitrust problems in the U.S. and Europe. In April, the European Commission ruled that Apple was in violation of antitrust law with Apple Music. The U.S. Senate and House are also mulling regulatory changes that could affect Apple's policies.

Gutierrez, for his part, urged U.S. lawmakers to take action with "urgent, narrowly tailored updates" to competition law in the country.

Spotify in 2019 filed a legal complaint against Apple with the European Commission alleging that the company was using its market to stifle competition.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    Cry more, Horacio. 
    psliceBeatswilliamlondonpulseimageswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 25
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,825member
    Android is 3x the size of iOS. What's wrong with it?
    edited May 18 pulseimageswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 25
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,565member
    I just checked around online and Spotify has about TWICE the number of paying users as AppleMusic. So he can act like a four year old (It’s Not Fair😭😭) all he wants but Apple Music doesn’t seem to be hurting Spotify. 
    dewmeBeatswilliamlondonmorkypulseimageschemengin1yoyo2222watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 25
    mike54mike54 Posts: 433member
    "ruthless bully that uses its dominance to hobble competitors."
    There is no doubt that Apple is exactly this as is Microsoft, Amazon and just about every other corporation.
    Spotify is just stating the obvious.
    Beatsmuthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondonDAalsethchemengin1
  • Reply 5 of 25
    pujones1pujones1 Posts: 219member
    DAalseth said:
    I just checked around online and Spotify has about TWICE the number of paying users as AppleMusic. So he can act like a four year old (It’s Not Fair😭😭) all he wants but Apple Music doesn’t seem to be hurting Spotify. 
    Same. I don’t get it. All these companies seem like they want a free ride on Apple now. 

    How can you be killing it and still complaining? 

    Greed. 
    BeatsbaconstangEsquireCatswilliamlondonpulseimageswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 25
    pslicepslice Posts: 120member
    I don’t understand. He’s mad because Apple won’t help Spotify grow Spotify’s business? Talk to the hand!
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 25
    Oh, boo hoo. Build your own ecosystem if you don't like someone else's. Hey, I hear Epic might want to do the same thing. You two sound perfect for each other.
    psliceBeatsbaconstangfotoformatwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 25
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,220member
    pslice said:
    I don’t understand. He’s mad because Apple won’t help Spotify grow Spotify’s business? Talk to the hand!
    No, he's mad because Apple is not willing to sacrifice some of their profits, to help Spotify increase their profits, without Spotify having to incur the cost of attracting more paying subscribers or trying to keep the paying subscribers they already have. 

    Same business ethics as Tim Sweeney with Epic. 
    chasmpsliceBeatsbaconstangfotoformatEsquireCatswilliamlondonpulseimagesmobirdwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 25
    danoxdanox Posts: 534member
    cpsro said:
    Android is 3x the size of iOS. What's wrong with it?
    It sucks hard…
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 25
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,365member
    Yes, Spotify sure is stifled! I'm surprised Microsoft isn't complaining that they'll never get to 99 percent desktop share thanks to mean, stupid old Apple. LOL

    Can't wait to hear the Apple cross on that one. Should be full of lols.

    What Spotify is really unhappy about is that they've been around for over a decade and can't really make any money, even with 3x the paying users of Apple Music, even with paying for the music to the tune of almost 1/3rd what Apple does, and even with them actively withholding and fighting NOT to pay some artists in court (they lost that one, but the problem is ongoing).

    IOW, Epic and Spotify and the others are mad that their business models don't really work if they have to pay something OUT, while Apple builds models that work SO well the money just comes pouring in.
    BeatsbaconstangfotoformatbestkeptsecretwilliamlondonpulseimagesFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 25
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,337member
    Apple was such a “big big bully” when they allowed Spotify on the App Store and advertised them across their platforms.
    baconstangwilliamlondonpulseimageswatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 25
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 711member
    Beats said:
    Apple was such a “big big bully” when they allowed Spotify on the App Store and advertised them across their platforms.
    Pretty tricky, huh!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 25
    What on earth is Sporty-Fy?🧐
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 25
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,569member
    DAalseth said:
    I just checked around online and Spotify has about TWICE the number of paying users as AppleMusic. So he can act like a four year old (It’s Not Fair😭😭) all he wants but Apple Music doesn’t seem to be hurting Spotify. 
    Also last time I saw artists talking about royalties for the thing that makes the service valuable they really didn't think Spotify were exactly paying a fair share.
    Apple faired a little better and weren't pushing for a decrease. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 25
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,165member
    Meanwhile making up lies* and spreading them far and wide in the press... sounds like bullying.

    *
    1. 30%: Not a single Spotify subscriber pays 30%.
    2. "Fair treatment", when specifically asking for special treatment, while also stealing the 15% discount from their users by not passing on the after 1 year subscription discount.
    3. Citing Epic games which sued Apple and Google, after breaking both stores TOS with a change that was hidden from reviewers. Epic knew this change would be rejected and had prepared lawsuits and a massive marketing campaign.
    4. Circular references to anti-trust complaints that aren't final, and many merely the direct process to Spotify's own complaints.

    edited May 19 williamlondonDAalsethforegoneconclusionwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 25
    entropysentropys Posts: 2,970member
    2. "Fair treatment", when specifically asking for special treatment, while also stealing the 15% discount from their users by not passing on the after 1 year subscription discount.
    Very good point.
    pulseimageswatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 25
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,765member
    Business revenue and market share of the different complainants are irrevelant to the issues being looked at. It is important to separate them. 

    The investigations will decide if the compaints themselves have any grounds or not. 

    The EU already appears to have found that Apple is in fact breaching competition rules.

    The size of Spotify played no role in that decision.

    The other investigations will run their course and we'll see what happens. 


  • Reply 18 of 25
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,337member
    avon b7 said:
    Business revenue and market share of the different complainants are irrevelant to the issues being looked at. It is important to separate them. 

    The investigations will decide if the compaints themselves have any grounds or not. 

    The EU already appears to have found that Apple is in fact breaching competition rules.

    The size of Spotify played no role in that decision.

    The other investigations will run their course and we'll see what happens. 


    ACTUALLY... Spotify is saying these things about Huawei.
    pulseimageswatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 25
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,765member
    Beats said:
    avon b7 said:
    Business revenue and market share of the different complainants are irrevelant to the issues being looked at. It is important to separate them. 

    The investigations will decide if the compaints themselves have any grounds or not. 

    The EU already appears to have found that Apple is in fact breaching competition rules.

    The size of Spotify played no role in that decision.

    The other investigations will run their course and we'll see what happens. 


    ACTUALLY... Spotify is saying these things about Huawei.
    Names, revenue and share are irrevelant.

    It is the practices that are being investigated and those practices aren't limited to Apple.

    Lots of companies get investigated.

    As for the outcome, patience young grasshopper. 
    EsquireCats
  • Reply 20 of 25
    avon b7 said: The EU already appears to have found that Apple is in fact breaching competition rules.
    Preliminary ruling. And Apple's response shows that preliminary ruling has significant flaws, i.e., Spotify doesn't pay Apple a commission on 99% of its subscribers and the remaining 1% are paying 15%, not 30%. 
    Beatswatto_cobra
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