Spotify (SPOT) is escalating its public battle with Apple (AAPL) over its controversial app store practices.
In a lengthy thread posted to Twitter on Wednesday, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek wrote: "As countless entrepreneurs have highlighted, Apple is shameless in their bullying including our recent efforts to help authors sell more audiobooks."
"Apple acts in self interest but also doesn’t seem to care about the law or courts," Ek continued, adding: "How much longer will we look away from this threat to the future of the internet? How many more consumers will be denied choice? There’s been a lot of talk. Talk is helpful but we need action."
Four years ago, we filed a complaint detailing @Apple’s anticompetitive practices. Some context. https://t.co/IljYEaCydc
— Daniel Ek (@eldsjal) November 30, 2022
Ek's latest comments come as prominent voices in the tech world are again speaking out against Apple's App Store practices following Elon Musk's recent comments.
Musk, CEO of Tesla and Twitter, tweeted Apple's practices were “concerning” and recently accused Apple of suppressing speech by requiring apps in its store to abide by certain content standards.
In one tweet, Musk specifically tagged Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Twitter account.
Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 28, 2022
The music streaming platform, which launched its audiobook business in September, has consistently called out Apple's "anti-competitive behavior."
In a blog post published in October, Spotify wrote: "Apple continues to stand in the way of Spotify’s and other developers’ abilities to provide a seamless user experience, and its restrictions hurt both creators and consumers alike."
According to The New York Times, Apple's App Store rejected Spotify’s app three times in October, claiming its new audiobooks offering broke Apple’s rules governing how developers can communicate with customers about online purchases.
The two companies have fought over Apple's app store rules for nearly seven years, with Spotify slamming the Cupertino-based company's practice of collecting a 30% fee
John Freeman, analyst at CFRA, said Apple is "playing a dangerous game," adding the tech giant "better have a really good reason to reject the app. Otherwise, people are going to scream bloody murder."
The analyst noted European regulators are already engaged in an antitrust investigation against the company as Congress considers new laws to limit Apple's App Store power.
"Spotify might have a point of leverage that they could take advantage of," Freeman said. "If I were them, I'd play the David versus Goliath card."
From a business standpoint, however, it's unlikely any App Store fight would move the needle too much in the near-term — even if Spotify were to be successful.
"I would not say that [this situation] is moot, but it does not make it into the top 5 of Spotify's problems, borderline top 10," Freeman said, referencing the platform's lack of profitability and issues surrounding its software business.
Spotify shares are down nearly 70% this year.
Alexandra is a Senior Entertainment and Media Reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193 and email her at [email protected]
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