Spotify Decries ‘Outrageous’ New Apple Developer Fees

Apple Store, Chengdu, China. Image credit: Unsplash

Spotify calls new US App Store fees for external payments ‘outrageous’, calls on UK government to block similar move

Spotify has criticised new Apple developer fees of 27 percent levied on US purchases outside the App Store as “outrageous”.

The remarks follow an announcement by Apple last Wednesay that it would allow developers to sell goods and services outside its official app store, but only if the biggest app makers, including Spotify, paid a 27 percent fee.

The change followed Apple’s legal battle with Fortnite maker Epic Games over App Store fees.

The judge in that case sided with Apple on most counts, but said the company should allow app makers to provide users with links to external payment services.

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Image credit: Apple

External sales

Apple appealed the ruling to the US Supreme Court, which last week declined to hear the case.

Sales by smaller developers and subscription auto-renewals face a smaller 12 percent fee.

Spotify said the new charge “flies in the face” of court efforts to introduce more tech competition.

The music streaming platform competes with Apple’s own music offering.

The biggest developers on Apple’s App Store pay a 30 percent commission on apps and in-app purchases, including subscriptions.

But smaller developers pay about 15 percent and 85 percent of developers pay no fees due to their small size.

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‘Proprietary technology’

Apple said in a court filing that “all App Store developers”, including those who link to external services, benefit from Apple’s “proprietary technology and tools” and “acess to its user base”.

It said developer benefit from “marketing and external advertising, and a safe environment for users to download and purchase apps and in-app content”.

“Once again, Apple has demonstrated that they will stop at nothing to protect the profits they exact on the backs of developers and consumers under their app store monopoly,” Spotify said in a statement provided to Silicon UK.

It urged the UK government to prevent Apple from implementing similar fees in the country through the digital markets bill, currently making its way through parliament.

Image credit: Spotify

‘False posturing’

“The UK’s Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill must put an end to this false posturing, which is essentially a recreation of Apple’s fees,” Spotify said.

“We strongly urge UK lawmakers to pass the bill swiftly to prevent Apple from implementing similar fees, which will help create a more competitive and innovative tech industry for UK consumers and businesses.”

In October 2023 the company accused Apple of having an “insane” level of control over the internet.

Chief executive Daniel Ek said at the time that Apple and Google are both “not just players, they are the rule-makers and gatekeepers of the mobile internet”.