Spotify is apparently the force behind the recent government investigations into potential Apple antitrust practices. Spotify has been lobbying behind the scenes in Washington, raising questions about Apple's new music streaming service, Apple Music.
It looks like it's full on war between Spotify and Apple, as the two most high profile competitors in the streaming music arena go at it in various arenas. Recently, Spotify notified users who had signed up for its app through Apple's App Store that they should cancel and resubscribe via Spotify's website, in order to remove Apple's additional 30% monthly cut.
Now, it has come to light that Spotify and its hired lobbyists have been making the rounds in Washington, questioning Apple's tactics and rising antitrust concerns among politicians. Recent reports indicate that the FTC has in fact opened an investigation into Apple Music streaming, although the agency has not confirmed this.
Spotify recently hired four outside lobbying groups who have been privately questioning Apple's practices in meetings with politicians. Specifically, Spotify has been alleging that Apple took advantage of its size and power in creating unfair deals with various record labels. Spotify is also raising the issue of Apple's standard 30% fee on all subscriptions purchased through its App Store, the fee which Spotify recently notified its users they could cut by cancelling and resubscribing.
Spotify's global head of communications and public policy, Jonathan Prince, described the company's political intentions as a more general effort to keep lawmakers up to date on the latest developments in the area.
"The entire music economy is evolving, and we want to make sure it's evolving in a way that's good for consumers, rights holders, musicians ... the entire business" said Prince, noting that the company engages in "regular conversations with government officials" on a "range of issues, including intellectual property, licensing, copyright and competition."
Apple is no stranger to antitrust concerns, as it was famously held liable by a federal court for conspiring with publishers to fix prices on eBooks in 2013. That decision has recently been upheld on appeal, although Apple continues to deny the charges.