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SPOTIFY VS. APPLE: THE ETERNAL STRUGGLE

Does it matter that Spotify has twice as many subscribers as Apple Music, 30m vs. 15m? Is it the size of the pie or the ingredients?

Forbes has worked the math to suggest Apple’s numbers are disappointing, that the percentage of iTunes users converting to streaming is falling below expectations. We hear the opposite: That Cupertino is happy with the numbers and is getting ready to throw down big coin to take it to the next level.

It’s quite possible Apple may never catch Spotify. And we now have Spotify saying Apple is blocking a new version of its iPhone app, making it hard to compete with Apple Music and other streaming services, ReCode reported.

Apple recently rejected an update to Spotify’s iOS app, which Spotify lawyer Horacio Gutierrez says is “causing grave harm to Spotify and its customers.” Beyond rejecting the app, Spotify was told it needed to use Apple’s billing system if it wanted to acquire new customers.

“This latest episode raises serious concerns under both U.S. and EU competition law,” Gutierrez wrote. “It continues a troubling pattern of behavior by Apple to exclude and diminish the competitiveness of Spotify on iOS and as a rival to Apple Music, particularly when seen against the backdrop of Apple’s previous anti-competitive conduct aimed at Spotify … we cannot stand by as Apple uses the App Store approval process as a weapon to harm competitors.”

So if there is a competition issue, who will go after Apple first, the FTC or EU?

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