Spotify says Apple’s DMA compliance must include these changes

As European Union officials work to implement the Digital Markets Act (DMA) that formally took effect last fall, the European Commission today held a stakeholder workshop to get input on “app store-related provisions.” Spotify was one of the panelists and it shared three changes that Apple believes need to be implemented in the EU.

Gene Burrus, Spotify’s Director of Global Competition Policy, spoke today at the European Commission’s panel specifically on the topic “Giving choice to app developers: how to implement the rules regarding in-app payment systems, steering and consumption- apps?”

Regarding these issues, Spotify’s Burrus cited two key changes that it believes the DMA should force Apple to comply with:

  • Allow an alternative option for in-app purchases on iOS
  • Allow developers/companies to have direct communication with consumers

Spotify bases that conclusion of this statement on the DMA:

The gatekeeper should not require end users to use any identification service, web browser engine or payment service, or to use, offer or interact with business users, or technical services that support the provision of payment services, such as payment systems for in-app purchases, of that gatekeeper in the context of services provided by the business users using the core platform services of that gatekeeper.

Those two changes would solve the problems Spotify has with – in its words – the 30% “Apple tax” and “Apple’s suppression”.

And another action Spotify would like the European Commission to take with the DMA is to “prevent Apple from favoring its own services”.

This one would be trickier than the first, as Spotify would like the DMA to govern how Apple manages its App Store, such as changes to the process of how it approves third-party app updates.

Apple’s opinion

Another part of the DMA could force Apple to open up iOS to third-party app stores.

Apple had a representative at the stakeholder workshop who spoke on the topic “Promoting Contestability: Web-Based Apps, Sideloading, and Alternative App Stores – Compliance Models.”

No surprise, Apple’s stance hasn’t changed here. It believes that the closed App Store model is the best approach to security and privacy.

But Apple acknowledged at the European Commission event that it will have a legal obligation to comply with the Digital Markets Act.

Meanwhile, Spotify and others shared their conflicting belief that Apple has no exclusivity in providing security and privacy to customers. And that it is better for everyone to encourage more competition.

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