Spotify CEO joins Elon Musk in criticizing App Store policies

Spotify (SPOT) is escalating its public battle with Apple (AAPL) over its controversial app store practices.

In a lengthy thread posted to Twitter Wednesday, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek wrote, “As countless business owners have pointed out, Apple is shameless in their bullying, including our recent efforts to help authors sell more audiobooks.”

“Apple is acting in self-interest, but also seems not to care about the law or the courts,” Ek continued, adding, “How long are we going to look away from this threat to the future of the Internet? How many more consumers will be choice denied? there is much talk. Talking is helpful but we need action.”

Ek’s latest comments come as prominent voices in the tech world are once again speaking out against Apple’s App Store practices following Elon Musk’s recent comments.

Tesla and Twitter CEO Musk tweeted that Apple’s practices were “about” and recently accused Apple of suppressing speech by requiring apps in its store to meet certain content standards.

In a tweet, Musk specifically tagged Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Twitter account.

“Apple keeps getting in the way”

The music streaming platform, which launched its audiobook business in September, has consistently denounced Apple’s “anti-competitive behavior.”

In a blog post published in October, Spotify wrote, “Apple continues to hinder the ability of Spotify and other developers to provide a seamless user experience, and its restrictions hurt 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 audiobook offering violated Apple’s rules governing how developers can communicate with users. customers on online purchases.

The two companies have battled over Apple’s app store rules for nearly seven years, with Spotify criticizing the Cupertino-based company’s practice of levying a 30% commission

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek speaks during a press event in New York May 20, 2015. Spotify, which provides free music-on-demand or ad-free songs for paying customers, said it would now also provide video content and podcasts. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

CFRA analyst John Freeman said Apple was “playing a dangerous game,” adding that the tech giant “better have a good reason to reject the app. Otherwise, people will be screaming bloody murder.”

The analyst noted that European regulators are already engaged in an antitrust investigation against the company as Congress considers new laws to limit the power of Apple’s App Store.

“Spotify may have a leverage point to take advantage of,” Freeman said. “If I were them, I would play the David versus Goliath card.”

From a commercial standpoint, however, any App Store fight is unlikely to move the needle too far in the near term, even if Spotify were to succeed.

“I wouldn’t say that [this situation] it’s debatable, but it falls outside Spotify’s top 5 issues, bordering on the top 10,” Freeman said, referring to the platform’s lack of profitability and the issues surrounding its software business.

Spotify’s 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

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