Apple Will Open Up iOS Platform – Spotify CEO

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Spotify’s strained relationship with Apple did not stop CEO Daniel Ek from speculating on Apple’s tight grip on its ecosystem

Apple will likely ease its tight grip on its ecosystem in the future, at least that is the expectation of the CEO of Swedish music streaming giant Spotify.

Daniel Ek made the comments in an press interview, and are somewhat surprising considering the extremely tense relationship between Spotify and Apple of late.

It should be remembered that in March 2019, Spotify had filed an official complaint and accused Apple of unfairly using the dominance of its App Store to give the Apple Music service a competitive advantage.

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Spotify complaint

That saw EU regulators opening a formal antitrust probe against Apple, which is ongoing.

The Spotify complaint centred on Apple’s policy of charging digital content providers a 30 percent fee for using its payment system for subscriptions sold in the App Store.

Apple strongly defended itself against Spotify’s complaints, and slammed the firm for using its App Store to dramatically grow its business, and then allegedly seeking to keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem (including hefty revenues), without making any contributions to that marketplace.

Into this tense situation, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said he expects Apple will “open up” iOS and its platforms more in the future as a result of contention with developers and growing antitrust concern from regulators.

Ek made the comments in a televised interview on Tuesday with Bloomberg.

The music streaming boss made the comments after Apple worked with Spotify to enable Siri support for the iPhone and Apple Watch. Spotify meanwhile also released an Apple TV app for the first time.

“Long term, we do expect Apple to open up,” Ek told Bloomberg. “We’re very encouraged about being able to now finally use Siri as a way of building in voice support and also being available to build products for the Apple TV and Apple Watch, something that we haven’t been able to do until very recently.”

Ek however did warn that while “it’s moving in the right direction,” he thinks “we still have many, many steps to go before” Apple’s ecosystem can be considered a fair platform.

This led to Bloomberg speculating that Apple may soon let rivals, including Spotify, run natively on its HomePod smart speaker.

Anitrust complaints

In February it was revealed that app developers were being questioned by the US Justice Department (DoJ) as part of its antitrust investigation of Apple and other big name technology giants.

In June last year, Apple was hit with a lawsuit from two app developers, who alleged that the App store gives the iPad maker a monopoly on the sale and distribution of iOS apps.

Apple has also clashed with the makers of a number of parental control apps back in April 2019, after it had removed or restricted at least 11 of the 17 most downloaded screen-time and parental-control apps.

Quiz: How well do you know Apple?

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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