Spotify Chief Pressures EU in Person to Move on Apple Antitrust Case

Spotify on smartphone

The founder of Spotify made a visit to Brussels to pressure the European Commission to accelerate a case against Apple’s reported “anti-competitive conduct,” the Financial Times wrote Wednesday (Sept. 7).

Daniel Ek, the Swedish billionaire who owns Spotify, said he spoke with competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager about the issue.

“It’s a picture of a company that keeps zigging and zagging to avoid doing anything,” he said. “I was asking [her] what I can do to make sure this case moves faster. As an entrepreneur you always want anything to happen yesterday. These regulatory processes take time so, so far, I guess normal, but that doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t try to accelerate them or try to make more progress.”

He added that other regulators, including in Japan, the Netherlands and South Korea, had already come down on Apple for similar issues.

The probe against Apple has been going on for nearly four years, and Ek said he hoped the conversations he’d had would help speed things along and make the case a higher priority. He also met with Commissioner Vera Jourova and the cabinet of internal markets Commissioner Thierry Breton.

Spotify filed a complaint in 2019 with European regulators saying Apple had been taking a 30% cut of its subscription fees for featuring it on the App Store, and saying Spotify couldn’t tell users about other ways of upgrading.

Apple didn’t reply to a request for comment from PYMNTS made by email.

There have been efforts in the U.S. to rein in big tech firms like Apple, following a global consensus that many such companies have taken actions that could be called anticompetitive.

Read more: Report: DOJ Preps Apple Antitrust Suit

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) could be ready with an antitrust complaint against Apple over such concerns soon, PYMNTS wrote on Aug. 26. But there’s no direct decision yet as to whether to sue Apple.

The DOJ’s investigation began three years ago over claims that Apple was using its market power to suppress app developers and other tech companies.