Spotify exec brands Apple 'ruthless bully' in scathing article

"There is a lot to admire about Apple, but my company, Spotify, has seen another, brutish side."

What you need to know

  • Spotify has launched another scathing public attack on Apple.
  • Its Head of Global Affairs & Chief Legal Officer Horacio Gutierrez wrote an article in the WSJ titled 'The Monopolist Worm in Apple'.
  • In the piece, he described Apple as a "ruthless bully".

Spotify's Head of Global Affairs & Chief Legal Officer Horacio Gutierrez has penned an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal in which he branded Apple as a "ruthless bully".

In the article Gutierrez writes:

There is a lot to admire about Apple, but my company, Spotify, has seen another, brutish side. Apple designs, develops and sells some of the world's most desirable hardware products. And for many, Steve Jobs remains a figure of reverence, giving the business he created an enduring glow. My business is one of the few insisting that underneath that exterior is a ruthless bully that uses its dominance to hobble competitors. But over the past couple of years regulators around the world have finally begun examining Apple's conduct. Many don't like what they're seeing.

Gutierrez noted an EU ruling on Apple given last month, in which the bloc ruled Apple competes with streaming services whilst charging them a commission on iOS. Noting recent figures from Apple stating Spotify only pays commission on 0.5% of subscriptions (and only at 15%) he stated:

The company has also argued that Spotify pays 15% of its revenue on only 0.5% of its subscriptions. But that's because Apple's exorbitant 30% tax on new subscriptions forced us to turn off in-app purchases in 2016. It made more business sense to cut iPhone and iPad users off from a path to subscriptions than to absorb the 30% cut for new ones.

Gutierrez said he was "heartened by the growing global consensus" but that time was on Apple's side, noting how long it can take for regulations to take effect. The piece concludes:

The good news is that Spotify is no longer alone in saying this. At long last, those in a position to do something have seen past Apple's facade and are beginning to act in the interests of innovators and consumers around the world.

You can read the full editorial here.

Tags
Technology