Last month’s Epic vs. Apple lawsuit wasn’t just a legal battle between two big money companies vying for control of their respective products. It attracted top executives from every company to testify, uncovered a treasure trove of surprising insights, but most importantly, it showed that there is a visible divide in the industry over the way Apple does business through the App Store controlled and processed. Music streaming giant Spotify has taken a stand against Apple after its long history of resentment about the “Apple tax” and the fact that it creates an uneven playing field. In the heat of all this judicial drama Spotify’s chief legal officer Horacio Gutierrez wrote an article condemning Apple as a monopoly and a ruthless bully.
Basically, restore the situation to how it was before the anti-competitive abuse began
Gutierrez sat down for an interview with TheVerge recently and looked at where his criticism came from and why Apple should be investigated for anti-competitive behavior because of its unfair business practices. When asked what should change after Epic’s legal showdown with Apple, the Spotify manager said:
“So it’s actually very simple. We want Apple to go back to the situation it was in when we joined the App Store. We want them to untether their proprietary payment system from the App Store and all other anti-governance precautions, which is a nifty way of saying punishments and penalties that they have created for those who don’t want to use their own payment system . Basically, restore the situation to what it was before your anti-competitive abuse began. “
Horacio Gutierrez – Head of Global Affairs and Chief Legal Officer at Spotify
Following a complaint from Spotify alleging anti-competitive behavior, the European Commission announced in April that it would investigate Apple for antitrust violations. exploit its dominant position, stifle competition and limit the number of choices available to users. Apple has been specifically targeted for its 30% App Store fee as it forces developers to pass the high cost on to end users while exempting Apple’s own competing services and taking an unfair advantage.
“I know it’s about their guidelines on app stores and the way they go [not just] competing apps but quite a few apps on their app store is just unfair and I think it deserves regulatory attention and I think they get regulatory attention for it, ”added Gutierrez.
Governments around the world have finally left the facade of Apple behind and are starting to act on behalf of innovators and consumers. But there is an urgent need for action. https://t.co/aJy7Gfzpci via @WSJOpinion
– Horacio Gutierrez (@horaciog) May 17, 2021
The head of Spotify’s legal efforts also did not mince words when appealing to what he believed to be the misuse of absolute power, even in situations where Apple had no competition at all. “When a company with that power decides to ban competition in areas where it really had no position [in] they do it beforehand because they have the power to do so. It is not the market economy system that we want in this country and that other countries want and it is not right, ”he added.
While Apple is waiting for the court ruling in the dispute with Epic Games – which broke out for circumventing the mandatory App Store payment rules that ensure Apple a 30 percent cut in all in-app transactions – there is also increasing pressure from regulators in the EU. If found guilty, the company faces a fine in the billions from the European Commission. But more importantly, Apple will face greater pressure to relax or tweak its App Store norms, particularly those governing in-app payments and the way in which it acts as the “gatekeeper” to serve its product ecosystem.
I’ve been writing about consumer technology for over three years and have worked with names like NDTV and Beebom in the past. Leaving the latest news aside, I’ve checked out my fair share of devices that range from smartphones and laptops to smart home devices. I have also interviewed technical executives and acted as a presenter on YouTube videos that talked about the latest and greatest gadgets out there.