In a bold move, Spotify has criticized Apple’s latest efforts to adhere to the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), deeming it “a complete and total farce.” The music streaming giant’s strong words come in response to Apple’s plan to allow developers to offer alternative app stores on iPhones and opt out of using Apple’s in-app payment system, which has long been a point of contention due to its high commissions.
Under the new regulations set to take effect from early March, developers will have the option to bypass Apple’s in-app payment system, which charges commissions of up to 30%. However, a new element introduced by Apple, the “core technology fee,” mandates developers to pay 50 euro cents per user account annually under the EU’s DMA.
Spotify minced no words in expressing its dissatisfaction, stating, “From the beginning, Apple has been clear that they didn’t like the idea of abiding by the DMA. So they’ve formulated an undesirable alternative to the status quo.” The music streaming service also highlighted that, under the new terms, it would be subjected to a 17% commission if it chooses to remain within the App Store and implements its own in-app payment system.
Apple, in response, defended its position by stating, “Every developer can choose to stay on the same terms in place today. And under the new terms, more than 99% of developers would pay the same or less to Apple,” as mentioned in an emailed statement to Reuters.
The European Union’s Digital Markets Act aims to create a fair and competitive digital marketplace by regulating the behavior of major tech companies. However, the clash between Spotify and Apple underscores the challenges and tensions surrounding the implementation of these regulations.
As the deadline for compliance approaches, the tech industry and regulators will be closely monitoring the impact of Apple’s measures on the broader app developer community and the extent to which these changes align with the spirit of the Digital Markets Act.