Spotify joins Deezer and other companies to accuse Apple and Google of abuse of power before the European Commission

, friends, if the relationship between Apple and Spotify I was no longer in the best of spirits, after that, it is very likely that things will get even worse. I say this because the Swedish streaming has joined other European companies including a notable competitor, French Deezer to accuse the owners of the two largest digital mobile ecosystems, Apple and Google, abuse of power and unfair competition.

Spotify vs. Apple Music

The letter, addressed to the European Commission, signed by the CEOs and founders of what they themselves classed as "a group made up of some of Europe's leading digital companies", including Spotify, Deezer and other lesser-known companies such as Rocket Internet and Snips. Despite not mentioning Apple and Google by name in no time, the letter speaks of the owners of the largest mobile platforms in the world, that is, there is no way to get confused here.

The main complaint of companies refers to the fact that these ecosystems, which in theory should be “entry points” for applications by the most different developers around the world, increasingly behave as “gatekeepers”, in the sense of which make it difficult for these third-party products to penetrate and make it almost impossible for developers to obtain data from consumers who use their services.

Our experience is one in which online platforms have a strong incentive to become gatekeepers because of their dual role and, instead of maximizing consumer welfare, they can and actively abuse their privileged position to adopt B2B practices with adverse consequences for innovation and competition. These practices range from restricting access to data or interaction with consumers or biased search results and rankings to unfair and unclear terms and conditions, in addition to the preference for their own vertically integrated services.

The point here is clear: Apple and Google, in addition to owning the largest mobile ecosystems in the world, also have a number of services that compete with these smaller companies and, as expected, they promote these options over those of third parties. Spotify himself has already bought huge fights with Apple for reasons related to this theme; for example, when it directed its users to make their subscriptions through the service's website instead of directly through the iOS application, through which Apple charges a part of the amount collected.

If the European Commission is to uphold the companies' accusation, no one can guess, but the fact is that the situation is complicated. On the one hand, it is undeniable that the sovereignty of Apple and Google was conquered not by chance, but through the careful work of years, which cannot be brought to an end by arbitrary and inquisitive rules. However, it is undeniable that the privileged position of these two companies favors an environment where competition becomes difficult and any movement can be seen as a manifestation of an alleged abuse of power.

(via Business Insider)