Tensions between Spotify and Apple are at an all-time high and Spotify’s Head of Global Affairs has called out what he sees as bullying of competitors and urges Apple to return to ‘the way it was before’.

In a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal and a podcast chat with Nilay Patel for The Verge, Spotify’s Head of Global Affairs Horacio Gutierrez has revealed his fiery feelings about Apple. Following the recent trial between Epic Games and Apple as well as the EU antitrust investigation filed by Spotify two years ago, it all revolves around a single percentage.

As Gutierrez says himself, “you can admire a company and a lot of what they’ve done […] and [still] be critical in the way that they behave in certain aspects of their business.” That certain aspect primarily referring to the 30% cut that Apple takes from purchases and subscriptions made through Apple’s App Store and apps on Apple devices.

This has led to huge conflict between Apple and other companies providing apps with in-app purchases on the Apple App Store, including Amazon who restrict Kindle purchases on their Apple App. This is what led to the recent trial with Epic Games, in which the developers of Fortnite attempted to sue Apple over unfair restrictions on non-Apple companies operating inside of Apple’s software.

Gutierrez said to Patel in their chat: “It is clear to me that when it comes to their policies on app stores and the way in which they’re treating [not just] competing apps, but a whole variety of apps on their App Store, is just unfair, and I think it deserves regulatory attention and I think they’re getting regulatory attention for it.”

Speaking on the results he wants to see from the current European Commission’s antitrust investigations, he says: “We want Apple to go back to the situation that existed at the time when we joined the Apple Store.

“We want them to undo the tying of their proprietary payment system to the App Store and all of the other anti-steering provisions, which is a fancy way of saying punishments and penalties that they’ve created for those people who do not want to use their proprietary payment system. Basically, restore the situation to the way it was before their anti-competitive abuse started.”

The next step in the EU trial is to allow Apple to examine the Statement of Objections against them, reply to it, and then they can request an oral hearing to provide their views. Following that process, the final decision will be made by the EU commission.

Similarly the Epic Games trial is over but we are still waiting on a final verdict. What is clear however is that companies are facing off against Apple who – not having gone unchecked until now – are finally starting to see the pressure from a legal and publicity perspective close in.

Of course, conflict between Spotify and Apple isn’t new, particularly in recent years with the launch of Apple’s competing music streaming service Apple Music. Gutierrez describes how damaging their percentage cut in subscriptions is as a competitor, saying: “Spotify will have been 30% more expensive than Apple Music at the crucial moment when a user chooses between them.”

He makes it clear that he likes a lot of what Apple does, he simply wants the playing field to remain level for the sake of competition and by extension innovation. “Consumers know what happens when there is no competition and when there is only one company left.

“We’ve experienced that in broadband services, we’ve experienced that in a number of other areas in our lives, and in our lifetime. We know that what happens is at that point the incentive to innovate, the incentive to continue to improve your products goes away, prices rise, and that hurts consumers.”