ANTITRUST

Congress Calls On Spotify To Name Apple Violations

Congress Asked Spotify For Info In Apple Probe

As part of its continuing probe into potential antitrust practices that hamper competition, the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee has asked Spotify for information about dealing with Apple and its App Store.

Reuters reported this is the first known instance of the congressional inquiry talking to an outside party for information.

Earlier this year, Spotify filed a complaint against Apple with the European Union over antitrust concerns, saying that Apple’s behavior in its App Store is anticompetitive. Spotify said the company imposes rules to limit growth, even as it controls the only way to reach Apple’s 900 million iPhone users.

Spotify also said Apple promotes its own service, Apple Music, over competitors. It’s also been reported that other companies say Apple takes features from their popular apps and incorporates them into its own apps.

For example, a number of apps featured a female cycle tracking service before Apple added one to its own health tracking app.

Some app makers also complain that Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, doesn’t work with the majority of non-native Apple apps.

Apple denies Spotify’s claims, and it said Spotify simply doesn’t want to pay for being on the store, and it doesn’t want to adhere to rules set for all the other apps.

The smartphone giant said it treats all apps in the store equally.

Spotify also complained about a 30 percent fee charged by Apple for apps that sell “digital goods” like music or eBooks.

Spotify reportedly met with representatives from the Department of Justice (DOJ) as well as the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Technology Task Force, which is a group of 17 attorneys hired to investigate online platforms and competition issues.

There are a number of other antitrust investigations into big tech companies at the moment. The DOJ is investigating Google, Apple and Facebook, and the FTC is following probes into Facebook and Amazon.

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