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Apple blocks new Spotify app as streaming wars escalate

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Apple is attempting to ‘cause grave harm’ to Spotify by rejecting a new version of its iOS app, according to the Swedish streaming giant.

Spotify’s legal team has written to their Apple counterparts claiming the latter is attempting to damage Apple Music rivals.

The new version of the app was rejected by Apple because of Spotify wants to offer alternate payment methods, beyond iTunes subscriptions of which Apple gets a 30 per cent cut.

“This latest episode raises serious concerns under both US and EU competition law,” general counsel Horacio Gutierrez wrote to his Apple counterpart Bruce Sewell in a letter obtained by Recode.

It continues a troubling pattern of behavior by Apple to exclude and diminish the competitiveness of Spotify on iOS and as a rival to Apple Music, particularly when seen against the backdrop of Apple’s previous anticompetitive conduct aimed at Spotify…we cannot stand by as Apple uses the App Store approval process as a weapon to harm competitors.”

Related: Apple Music vs Spotify vs The Rest

Spotify has long attempted to circumvent Apple’s rules by charging £13/$13 a month for iTunes-based subscriptions.

Rather than simply passing the costs onto customers, Spotify has made it evident that a £10/$10 a month rate is available to those subscribing through its own portals.

Apple’s policy has been in place since 2011, so this isn’t a new thing, but it seems Spotify has attempted to sneak a version of the app through that can by-pass iTunes billing.

The letter is perhaps the first public spat between Apple and Spotify since the launch of Apple Music last summer.

Spotify recently claimed the arrival of Apple on the streaming scene had raised awareness and contributed to a rise in subscribers.

Right now Apple Music has about 15 million subscribers, while of the 100m Spotify users, 30 million are paying customers.

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