Invisible to the customer is the fee apple takes when purchasing in the app store or a subscription within an app.
Apps should be able to compete fairly on the merits, and not based on who owns the App Store. Apple is both the owner of the iOS platform and the App Store-and a competitor to services like Spotify. He mainly blames Apple's store policy. This fee is largely responsible for Apple's $10 billion in services revenue per quarter, with relatively small amounts from licenses (default search engines etc.), subscriptions such as Apple Music, and Apple Pay and Apple Care for the remaining.
Spotify has submitted a complaint against Apple to the European Commission arguing that the iPhone maker gives itself an unfair advantage by charging digital app rivals a 30% "tax" on purchases made through iOS.
From there, Ek goes on to lament that if the company decides that situation is too onerous and doesn't want to use Apple's payment system as a way of getting around this, "Apple then applies a series of technical and experience-limiting restrictions on Spotify". As a Swedish company, Spotify is calling on the European Commission to "ensure a level playing field".
We aren't even allowed to tell you something as simple as how and where to upgrade to premium via the app. Apple uses compliance with their restrictions as a pretext to block our app updates - whether they are bug fixes or enhancements, making it challenging, and in some cases impossible, to bring you our latest and greatest innovations.
But the obvious question is why Spotify isn't also going after Google, which also charges a levy for apps on its app store and has a music-streaming service.
One example that Ek outlined in his written deposition, is the manner in which Apple taxes businesses that want to use their platform as a seller's market.
We aren't seeking special treatment.
Spotify has filed a legal complaint against Apple for what it believes is anti-competitive behavior.
Ek's argument is that Apple requires Spotify to pay a 30% "Apple tax" on every purchase that Spotify customers make though Apple's payment system, including upgrading from the Free to the Premium version of the music streaming service.
In addition to taking issue with those rules, Spotify alleges it has been the subject of unfair treatment.
Consumers should have a real choice of payment systems and not be locked down or forced to use Apple's discriminatory tariffs. So, let me be clear that this is not a Spotify-versus-Apple issue.