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Apple is not allowing Spotify's latest iOS update in the EU that showed discounted pricing

Spotify vs Apple

Apple has blocked Spotify's latest update in the European Union, which aimed to include subscription pricing tiers and options to pay without using in-app purchases. Spotify claims that Apple has not acknowledged or responded to its submission, which is a violation of Apple's statement that they turn around reviews on app submissions within 24 hours.

This rejection by Apple is due to Spotify's refusal to request an entitlement and pay Apple a commission for purchases made from external links. The EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA), however, requires Apple to allow music streaming apps to include external purchase links, but Apple's updated rules still involve taking a commission from these purchases. The ruling also allows Spotify to distribute a Spotify app to EU users outside of the App Store, but it would be required to pay Apple's Core Technology Fee for each user.

Spotify, along with other companies like Epic Games, has criticized Apple's compliance with the DMA, calling it extortion and a farce.

The feud between Apple and Spotify is not new, with tensions dating back to a 2019 antitrust complaint by Spotify over Apple's 30% "Apple Tax." The conflict escalated in 2024 when the European Commission fined Apple $2 billion for preventing Swedish streaming service Spotify from advertising cheaper subscription deals outside the iOS platform. The ruling followed a four-year investigation and found that Apple had "abused its dominant position in the market" by preventing developers from informing customers about alternative services.

In response to the ruling, Apple has introduced the Music Streaming Services Entitlement for music streaming apps in the European Economic Area (EEA), allowing developers to include a link to their website for alternative purchasing options. However, Apple still requires developers to use its In-App Purchase system and pay a commission for purchases made from external links.

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