Apple announced yesterday that US App Store developers may link to alternative payment methods but will still have to pay up to a 27% commission. Now Spotify has shared an official statement on the matter saying the move “flies in the face of the court’s efforts” and urging the EU to prohibit fees for outside link purchases “swiftly.”
The move comes after Apple lost its Supreme Court appeal in its legal battle with Epic Games. The twist is that while the outcome forced Apple to allow third-party App Store devs to link to outside payment methods, Apple is charging almost the same commission.
In addition to the 27% cut (12% for Small Business Program devs), Apple is telling developers they’ll need to provide accounting details for all out-of-app purchases plus the company “has a right to audit developers’ accounting to ensure compliance…”
That’s a bold move considering the Digital Markets Act in the EU is almost certain to ban such practices and as my colleague Ben discussed this morning – for the US and elsewhere, this is just more fuel for antitrust fires.
In fact, as I was writing this, my colleague Zac just published the news that the US Department of Justice is planning to file an antitrust case against Apple this spring.
Having fought Apple on these grounds for years, Spotify is very frustrated by the move to allow out-of-app purchases but still charge almost the same commission.
Spotify says Apple’s decision is “outrageous” and believes the EU’s upcoming implementation of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) “will finally put an end to this false posturing…” – at least in the EU.
In closing, Spotify “urges” the EU to “act swiftly and decisively to prevent Apple from implementing similar fees which are prohibited under the DMA.”
Here’s the full statement from Spotify:
“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. Their latest move in the U.S. — imposing a 27% fee for transactions made outside of an app on a developer’s website — is outrageous and flies in the face of the court’s efforts to enable greater competition and user choice. This action follows similar moves by Apple to circumvent compliance in South Korea and The Netherlands. However, the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) will finally put an end to this false posturing, which is essentially a recreation of Apple’s fees. We strongly urge the European Commission to act swiftly and decisively to prevent Apple from implementing similar fees, which are prohibited under the DMA.”
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