What happens when one of your largest competitors also owns and moderates a platform that is vital to the sustainability of your product? For Swedish audio-streaming service Spotify, this seemingly dystopian "what-if" scenario is not just some harrowing thought experiment; it is the reality it faces every day when connecting with consumers via Apple devices and the App Store.
Essentially, Wired magazine's Issie Lapowsky reports that Spotify faces an "impossible" choice when dealing with Apple: Either pass on the cost of a 30 percent tax on in-app purchases that occur within the App Store to customers or face exclusion and a multitude of obstacles for this act of defiance.
If this rings a bell for dealerships like your own, it probably should. Having to constantly balance the desire to use the website and service providers you prefer with your manufacturer's demands regarding co-op programs and approved vendors serves as a stunning parallel to the dilemma experienced by Spotify in its respective industry.
As Lapowsky goes on to note, Spotify has had enough of this unfair and potentially monopolistic situation. In fact, the Swedish tech leader has filed a formal compliant against Apple via the European Commission, and raised a new conversation surrounding abusive policies in the digital landscape and the potential need for a new wave of antitrust legislation.
Of course, the topic of creating fair and objective economic ecosystems in the digital world appears to be shifting to the global stage. Back on our side of the pond, presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren has already championed a policy that would prohibit Facebook, Google, Amazon, and others from participating on the platforms they own, much in the same way that Spotify contends that the very existence of Apple Music and arbitrary penalties unleashed by Apple creates an unfair paradigm within the App Store for other competitors.
Will the rise of brands and legislators who champion antitrust viewpoints help curtail the select few organizations that dominate the current digital landscape? Could this move toward reestablishing balanced and fair marketplaces and platforms eventually impact the automotive sector?
To gain some added perspective on these concepts, and learn more about Spotify's formal complaint to the European Commission regarding Apple's potentially monopolistic practices, feel free to dig into the full story from Lapowsky and Wired by clicking on the link that we've provided down below.