U.S. Congress asks Spotify to provide details on Apple's alleged anticompetitive practices

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What you need to know

  • U.S. Congress has asked Spotify to provide information regarding its allegations of Apple's anticompetitive practices.
  • Spotify has accused Apple of anticompetitive practices that favor its own music service, Apple Music, for years.
  • This is the latest development as lawmakers begin to investigate possible anticompetitive violations by big tech companies.

Members of U.S. Congress have reached out to Spotify and requested information regarding allegations it has made against Apple regarding anticompetitive practices. According to Reuters, sources confirmed lawmakers are investigating the allegations.

The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee reached out to the music streaming service with broad requests for information, according to one source, who added the request to the company was narrowed in follow up telephone calls.Spotify and other developers have alleged that Apple engages in anticompetitive behavior by imposing rules that hamper distribution via its App Store, the only way for third-party developers to reach more than 900 million iPhone users.

Spotify has continually ran into issues with Apple as it directly competes with its Apple Music service. From failing to create a proper Apple Watch app given Apple's restrictions to the 30% cut Apple gets from in-app memberships, Spotify argues all these hurdles serve to boost up Apple Music instead of competitors.

Another issue developers like Spotify have raised is compatibility with Siri. It wasn't until recently (with iOS 13) that a third-party app like Spotify could use Siri to control the app.

Apple responded to the report as it has in the past.

Asked for comment, Apple referred to its previous responses, published in March, to Spotify's claims. The company says it enforces its App Store rules evenly among all developers and that more than eight out of every 10 apps are free and pay nothing to Apple. Apple has said Spotify pays nothing for users of its free service or for paid Spotify members who signed up outside the App Store.

Besides this instance with Apple, the Justice Department is looking into other anticompetitive violations by other big tech companies including Google and Facebook.

Danny Zepeda