Spotify and others send letter to EU urging antitrust crackdown on Apple

19 Jan 2023

Image: © Tada Images/

Spotify filed a formal antitrust complaint with the EU in 2019 citing Apple’s anti-competitive behaviour. The letter is a renewed call for action.

Spotify and several other organisations have signed a letter to the EU calling on it to take action against Apple for what it terms as its “anti-competitive behaviour” and “unfair practices”.

The letter was signed by companies Spotify, Basecamp, Deezer, Proton and Schibsted. The European Publishers Council, France Digitale and News Media Europe also signed the letter.

In a statement issued yesterday (18 January), Spotify said that the move was a continuation of efforts it had made previously to tackle what it calls “abuses” of Apple’s platform.

In 2019, the Swedish streaming giant filed a formal antitrust complaint with the European Commission, alleging anti-competitive behaviour from Apple and its impact on the market.

“Since then, little has changed,” said yesterday’s statement. “Apple has been enabled by the lack of decisive action by regulators, who continue to move hesitantly, even in the face of a groundswell of support.”

Spotify said that the group of signatories was calling on European regulators to “address the ever-growing chorus of complaints against Apple”.

Although the letter mentioned “unfair practices by certain global digital gatekeepers”, it singled out Apple in particular.

“For years, Apple has imposed unfair restrictions on our businesses. These restrictions hamper our development and harm European consumers,” the letter claims.

The companies take issue with the tying of the App Store to Apple’s own payment system which it accused of having “excessive commissions for app developers”.

They also accuse the tech giant of deliberately creating obstacles that prevent them from communicating with their customers and enforcing “capricious changes” to terms and conditions.

“Apple benefits from a monopoly position over its mobile ecosystem and extracts exorbitant rents from app developers who have no choice but to remain on the App Store to reach European consumers,” the letter said, adding that Apple defies regulatory efforts to curtail its practices.

The letter urged the EU to act to protect customers and innovation by enforcing the Digital Markets Act. It called for a stop on Apple’s “abusive behaviours” in other areas too – such as publishing, web software and communications. has reached out to Apple for a comment but none was forthcoming at the time of publication.

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Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic