Tech companies including Spotify and Deezer have taken concerns about Apple’s growing power to EU regulators.
European tech companies have come together in a protest against Apple in the wake of their Shazam purchase. The companies say that Apple are taking part in “anti-competitive practices” making the tech world unfairly balanced in favour of Apple.
According to a report by Financial Times, “Spotify co-founder Daniel EK and Deezer chief executive Hans-Holger Albrecht called on Brussels to ensure ‘a level playing field’ by reining in platforms that are ‘regularly abusing their advantaged position'”.
Out of the companies involved in the concern are Spotify and Deezer, rivals to Apple since they launched their own streaming service Apple Music. Their issues haven’t started with the purchase of Shazam however, as Apple take a 30% cut of subscriptions for apps on Apple Devices. This has resulted in services having to bump up prices or take a loss on Apple platforms.
The European Commission are developing new regulations on how big tech companies are allowed to get. Regulations will especially involve how companies are able to interact with developers and merchants who rely on their platforms, ie. charging extra costs for subscriptions on your platform.
A precedent was set in June when Google was fined $2.4 billion for “demoting rivals and unfairly promoting its own services”. Spotify and Deezer no doubt hope that they can take similar action against Apple as their power grows. Whilst Spotify may still be dominating over Apple Music the speed of their growth puts Apple in a position to take them over within the space of years thanks to aggressive promotion and lots of money to throw at it.
The letter that was sent to EU regulators also gained support from a variety of European game developers and digital publishers. They request that the new rules, “go beyond mere transparency requirements, which alone will not ensure platforms act as gateways rather than become gatekeepers to the digital economy”.