Apple Cites Irrelevant Spotify Subscription Stats In New Antitrust Defense

In response to Spotify’s antitrust complaint, Apple claims that Spotify has greatly exaggerated how much money is being taken by the App Store. “Apple says that it’s currently taking a 15 percent cut of subscription fees for around 680,000 Spotify subscribers, representing 0.5 percent of Spotify’s total subscribers, and that Spotify is not paying a 30 percent cut on anything,” reports The Verge, citing Der Spiegel. From the report: The takeaway message is supposed to be that Spotify is blowing its complaint way out of proportion, but those small numbers don’t tell the full story — they basically don’t matter, because Spotify gave up on App Store subscriptions years ago. Spotify only offered subscriptions through the App Store between 2014 and 2016. That means subscription numbers have had years to dwindle. In 2016, Apple also reduced the cut it takes from subscriptions after they’ve been active for more than a year, bringing it down from 30 percent to 15 percent. That means Apple is only taking the lower number from Spotify, because Spotify hasn’t signed up any new subscribers in years. The complaint that Spotify filed in March with the EU’s antitrust arm says that Apple requires it to “pay a 30 percent tax on purchases” made through iOS. Even if Spotify isn’t currently paying 30 percent because it stopped offering subscriptions through iOS in order to avoid the fee, that 30 percent tax is still true.

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