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Spotify sides with Epic Games in Apple app store battle over Fortnite

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Apple and Google have removed Fortnite from their respective app stores


Johannes Eisele/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Music streaming service Spotify
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rushed to support Epic Games on Friday in its battle against Apple, launching an attack of its own on the tech giant.

Epic Games filed lawsuits against Apple
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and Google
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on Thursday after its popular Fortnite game was banned from their respective app stores. The title was removed after the U.S. video game developer created a payment system bypassing the fees charged by Apple and Google’s charge – the tech duo take up to 30% of all purchases in their app stores. Epic Games offered players a discount on in-game purchases if they paid the company directly, which an Apple spokesperson said violated the app store guidelines.

The Sweden-based streaming service, which filed a similar complaint to the European Commission over Apple’s app store, said it applauded Epic Games’ stance, which “shed further light on Apple’s abuse of its dominant position.”

“Apple’s unfair practices have disadvantaged competitors and deprived consumers for far too long. The stakes for consumers and app developers large and small couldn’t be higher and ensuring that the iOS platform operates competitively and fairly is an urgent task with far-reaching implications,” A Spotify spokesperson said in a statement.

The European Union opened two antitrust probes into Apple’s app store and payment system in June in response to complaints made by Spotify and Japanese ebook/audiobook distributor Rakuten
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.

Following a preliminary investigation into Spotify’s complaint, the European Commission said it has concerns that Apple’s restrictions “may distort competition” for music streaming services on Apple’s devices.

The Commission’s Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager said it appeared that Apple has obtained a “gatekeeper role” when it comes to the distribution of apps and content to users of Apple devices.

In response to the investigations being launched an Apple spokesperson said: “It’s disappointing the European Commission is advancing baseless complaints from a handful of companies who simply want a free ride, and don’t want to play by the same rules as everyone else.”

Apple was approached for comment on Spotify’s statement



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