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Federal Trade Commission looking into how fairly Apple’s App Store treats streaming rivals

Is Spotify essentially making Apple money?


Patrick Howell O'Neill


Posted on Jul 11, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 9:22 am CDT

Apple is under the microscope of U.S. government antitrust regulators who are looking into Apple’s potentially illegal treatment of rival music apps in the App Store, Reuters reports from three anonymous industry sources.

A formal investigation from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has not begun at this time, according to Reuters.

Apple Music sits alongside competing apps like Spotify in the App Store. All in-app purchases from the App Store generate a 30 percent cut for Apple so that competitors like Rhapsody and Spotify are essentially making Apple money while cutting into their own profit, where margins are already small.

Reuters reports that streaming companies are subject to many restrictions in their iOS apps because of Apple’s strict rules. Spotify, for instance, can’t advertise that its app is available on other platforms or that you can make payments directly on Spotify’s website.

Reuters’ sources said that multiple complaints have been made to the FTC that have resulted in meetings between the agency and companies, but that it doesn’t guarantee a formal investigation is on the way.

H/T Reuters | Photo by shoutsfromtheabyss/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Jul 11, 2015, 6:26 pm CDT