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Spotify upset over 9 day App Review, cries antitrust to EC

Spotify preps its app on iPhone for new EU rules

Ten years and a $2 billion fine later, Apple is still upsetting EU favorite Spotify but this time, because the company isn't making App Review for the company any faster than it is for other developers.

The biggest music streaming company on earth continues to cry antitrust after getting a free pass to do almost everything it ever wanted in the EU. Spotify has returned to the European Commission with a new complaint — Apple isn't approving its app update fast enough.

According to The Verge, Spotify has written the EC stating Apple has "neither acknowledged nor responded to Spotify's submission." A ruling from the EC fined Apple $2 billion and ordered the company to stop its anti-steering practices.

Spotify submitted an update to Apple on March 5 with its new in-app subscription details and a link to its website. Nine days later, Spotify feels like Apple isn't communicating properly and may be delaying approving the app on purpose.

"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, which we are now authorized to do by the European Commission's decision on the music streaming case," Spotify spokesperson Jeanne Moran said in a statement. "Apple's delay 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."

App Review has always been a bit of a black box, but going days or a couple of weeks without approval after submission isn't entirely unusual for nearly every developer. The delay could be caused by Apple taking extra care with this new EU requirement.

It also likely doesn't help that Apple's App Review team is dealing with one of the most significant changes ever to occur to iOS simultaneously. Complying with the Digital Markets Act requires extensive involvement from Apple alongside 600 new developer APIs and changes to iOS.

Also, it isn't as if Spotify stands to lose money by Apple delaying the inevitable.

Spotify hasn't allowed customers to sign up for its premium subscription in the app since 2016. Adding the ability to tell users to go to the website and subscribe to avoid a 30% fee is pointless when customers can't even subscribe in app.

Clearly, users don't have any issue finding Spotify Premium and subscribing. Spotify is the EU market leader with 56% share, while Apple Music is at 11%.

Spotify is a company like any other and can't force Apple to prioritize an app update. However, after all the special treatment from the EC, perhaps Spotify is a little spoiled and believes it can ask for anything and get it.