Apple Heats Up On Spotify Accusation Over App Store Policy, Talks App Rejection

Ali Salman
Posted Jul 1, 2016
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Spotify has been targeting at Apple concerning the iOS App Store subscription policies. Spotify accusation is Apple’s anti-competitive behavior with its App Store policies. Moreover, according to Spotify, Apple held an app update to benefit Apple Music. Whatever may be the case, Apple has berated Spotify in a letter that represents the company’s response without mincing words.

Apple Raged At Spotify Accusation Over App Store Policy

Cupertino’s top lawyer, Bruce Sewell has issued a three-page response to the Spotify accusation in which he charged Spotify of turning to ‘rumors and half-truths about our service’. Moreover, Apple’s lawyer also outlined how important the App Store has been for Spotify in terms of subscribers and generating revenues.

Interestingly enough, Bruce’s letter to Spotify also details what exactly caused Apple to hold back the update. As we have mentioned before, Spotify accusation mentioned that Apple was delaying the update because it wanted to keep competition away from Apple Music. Other than this, Spotify also noted that the in-app-purchases option has been removed from the iOS app. This means that users would not be able to subscribe to feature from within the app itself. Apple found this a very grave situation.

“Shortly after Spotify submitted its app on May 26, our team identified a number of issues, including that the in-app purchase feature had been removed and replaced with an account sign-up feature clearly intended to circumvent Apple’s in-app purchase rules. That feature exists only for the purpose of avoiding having to pay Apple for your use of the App Store by emailing customers within hours, directing them to subscribe to Spotify on its website. A clear violation of the terms every other developer adheres to.”

Apple exclaims that it held talks with the Spotify team about the issue and also suggested a solution to it. So. on the 10th of June, Spotify resubmitted the app but the issues were still present. So Apple did what it saw fit – it denied the Spotify update again.

“During a number of discussions between our team and Spotify, we explained why this sign-up feature did not comply with our guidelines and requested you resubmit a compliant version of the app. On June 10, Spotify submitted another version of the app which again incorporated the sign-up feature directing App Store customers to submit an email address so they could be contacted directly by Spotify in a continued attempt to get around our guidelines. Spotify’s app was again rejected for attempting to circumvent in-app purchase rules, and not, as you claim, because Spotify was simply seeking to communicate with its customers.”

Apple Goes Straight On Spotify App Rejection

As Bruce noted, the current version of Spotify, that is available on the App Store, is not in coalition with the company’s guidelines as well. The letter further goes saying that the music streaming service should provide Apple with something that is aligned with the company’s App Store policies and guidelines. After notifying Spotify about its avoidance of the iTunes Billing, Apple advised the company to implement the changes if it wants to continue to use the app.

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As we have mentioned earlier, Spotify’s update removed the in-app-purchases feature from within the app and redirected them to the company’s website. This basically circumvents Apple’s In-App-Purchases rule. Moreover, Spotify emailed all of its subscribers to subscribe to Spotify on its host website. This is in direct disagreement of the App Store guidelines that states, “apps may not include buttons, external links or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms other than In-App Purchases”.

If you’re interested, you can read the full letter here. We can see that the feud is ongoing between Apple and Spotify. Nonetheless, we will keep you guys posted when we hear more on the matter. What are your thoughts on the Spotify accusation and Apple’s response? Share your views in the comments.

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