Apple, the world’s most valuable company, is currently under attack from Fortnite develops Epic Games in an incredible legal and cultural battle, but Epic was hardly the first to accuse Apple of abusing monopoly power.
Today, Spotify – the music service whose complaints helped launch two official EU cartel investigations into Apple’s App Store and Apple Pay practices – has encountered Apple’s announcement of an all-in-one subscription package that includes its rival Apple Music.
Here is Spotify’s statement:
Again, Apple uses its dominant position and unreasonable practices to harm competitors and deprive consumers by favoring its own services. We urge competition authorities to curb Apple̵7;s anti – competitive conduct as soon as possible, which, if left unchecked, will cause irreparable harm to the developer community and threaten our collective freedoms to listen, learn, create and connect.
While it certainly reads like a hob instead of saying something meaningfully new, it seems vaguely plausible some people might download Apple Music instead of Spotify if the overall package seems like a good deal, and Apple has determined the marketing power to push that package hard.
That said, Spotify is no stranger to its own bundles: it’s been packed with Hulu, with AT&T mobile service, and with some Samsung phones.
Meanwhile, Apple insists its customers will still be able to “discover and enjoy alternatives”:
Customers can find and enjoy alternatives to each and every one of Apple’s services. We’re introducing Apple One because it’s a great value for customers and a simple way to access the full range of Apple subscription services. We recommend the Apple One plan, which saves you the most money based on the subscriptions you already have. It’s perfect for anyone who loves any of our services and wants to get more for less, and it’s especially good for families. Also, selected services included in Apple One are available for non-Apple devices and you can cancel at any time.
Last June, Apple announced that Apple Music had topped 60 million subscribers, but had ways to go to catch up with Spotify’s 100 million. In June, Spotify passed 138 million subscribers.