Just ahead the weekend, U.S. Congress ficially requested information from Spotify as part a broader antitrust investigation being conducting on Apple.
The Congressional inquiries aims to determine if Apple employs anti-competitive behavior in support its own music streaming service, Apple Music, which is Spotify’s biggest competitor. Earlier this year, Apple Music surpassed Spotify in the U.S., in terms paying subscribers.
A Reuters report notes that the U.S. Judiciary Committee the U.S. House Representatives requested a broad amount information from Spotify. This broad request was subsequently refined after a series phone conversations. Word the inquiry first surfaced late Friday (October 4th), though nothing has been confirmed.
The United States is not the first locality in which Spotify has accused Apple unfair business practices. In March, the company filed a complaint with the European Union. But this is reportedly the first time it has been involved with Congress’ current investigation into Apple.
Spotify has been calling for US-based government action against Apple for many years, based on complaints unfair competitive advantage.
Spotify and other companies insist that Apple imposes unreasonable rules within its App Store that impede the distribution apps that directly compete with Apple. Unlike with Android devices, users iOS devices — such as iPhones and iPads — must use the App Store to download apps.
Some stware developers are also accusing Apple copying features their apps in their own competing apps. They further say that third-party apps have limited access to Siri in comparison to Apple’s own apps, which allows them to respond and react to voice commands.
Apple denies all charges.
They say that they treat every developer the same and act only in the interest their users. They further state that Spotify wants Apple to treat it differently than it does other developers and is trying to avoid paying the 30% fee Apple charges for digital goods and services.
Previously, US-based interest in technology antitrust concerns has been minimal. Overall, competitive regulation in the US has been lax for decades, though Democratic candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are putting a harsh glare on tech monopolies and their abuses against competitors and consumers.
Accordingy, Apple is not the only technology company the U.S. government is investigating in relation to antitrust violations. They are also probing Google, Facebook and Amazon through both the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Justice Department.