Spotify cries foul over Apple’s app review process

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Spotify has accused Apple of deliberately holding back approval for an updated version of its iOS app, claiming the tech giant is failing to comply with the European Union’s new Digital Markets Act (DMA) regulations.

The music streaming giant submitted an updated app to Apple’s App Store on March 5th, just days before the DMA came into effect on March 7th. The new rules allow developers to use alternative payment systems for in-app purchases and distribute apps outside of Apple’s tightly controlled App Store ecosystem within the EU.

In the submitted update, Spotify removed its subscription option via Apple’s in-app purchase system. Instead, users are prompted to visit Spotify’s website to subscribe — a change allowed under the new DMA rules. However, nine days later, Spotify says Apple has yet to approve the updated app.

“It’s been nine days now and we’re still waiting to hear from Apple about our app submission to show EU consumers pricing and a link to our website,” read an email from Spotify to the EU Commission seen by The Verge.

Spotify spokeswoman Jeanne Moran accused Apple of delaying tactics, saying the holdup “directly conflicts with their claim that they turn around reviews on app submissions within 24 hours, and it also flies in the face of the timeline for adoption the Commission laid out.”

The tensions highlight the longstanding feud between the two tech giants. Apple was recently fined a record €1.8 billion ($2 billion) by EU antitrust regulators for abusing its dominant position to disadvantage music streaming rivals like Spotify on its App Store.

Earlier this month, Spotify joined dozens of companies in writing to the EU Commission to complain about “Apple’s lack of DMA compliance.” After the EU said it would investigate further, Apple made some concessions on allowing third-party app distribution.

However, this latest Spotify dispute suggests Apple may still be resisting full compliance with the new DMA rules designed to open up its historically closed software ecosystem.

(Photo by Omid Armin on Unsplash)

See also: Apple faces EU scrutiny for terminating Epic’s developer account

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