Apple, trying to show that it doesn't force app providers to pay a "tax" to be included in the App Store, filed a response to Spotify's antitrust complaint with the European Commission — revealing that Apple collects a 15% fee for just 680,000 of Spotify's more than 100 million premium subscribers.
According to Apple, the company doesn't levy the 30% fee on any of Spotify's subscribers. In 2016, Spotify removed the ability to subscribe to the streaming service via Apple's in-app payment. It takes 15% of the ongoing subscription fee for Spotify customers who signed up between 2014 and 2016 (its standard cut for subscriptions purchased through the App Store after the first 12 months).
Apple in 2015 launched Apple Music, a subscription service that competes with Spotify. Spotify declined to comment on Apple's response. But in previous statements, Spotify has said Apple's so-called "tax" on App Store purchases is only one facet of its allegations that Apple unfairly wields market clout against rivals.
That has included rejecting Spotify's app multiple times over the last three years for purported violations of the App Store guidelines. Spotify has alleged that Apple has taken several punitive steps against the music-streaming company to retaliate for Spotify pulling out of the App Store's in-app purchase system.
Apple is the target of a class-action lawsuit alleging the App Store unlawfully monopolizes the aftermarket for iPhone apps. Separately, in the U.S. The Supreme Court allowed the case to proceed in a May 2019 ruling.” />
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, in a blog post about the March complaint with the EU, alleged that if Spotify opts out of using Apple’s payment system, "Apple then applies a series of technical and experience-limiting restrictions on Spotify."
In its initial response to Spotify's EU complaint, Apple accused Spotify of wanting to benefit from being included in the App Store without paying for the privilege. “After using the App Store for years to dramatically grow their business, Spotify seeks to keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem – including the substantial revenue that they draw from the App Store’s customers – without making any contributions to that marketplace,” Apple said at the time.
Apple's response, filed May 31 with the European Commission, was reported Monday by Der Spiegel newspaper, which obtained a copy of the document.
For example, he charged, Apple limits Spotify's ability to communicate with its customers, including in some cases restricting Spotify's ability to send emails to customers who use Apple devices. That has included "locking Spotify and other competitors out of Apple services such as Siri, HomePod, and Apple Watch." In addition, "Apple also routinely blocks our experience-enhancing upgrades," Ek wrote.

“The App Store had a record-breaking holiday week and New Year's Day. The holiday week was our biggest week ever with more than $1.22 billion spent on apps and games, and New Year’s Day set a new single-day record at more than $322 million,” said Schiller. “Thanks to the inspiring work of our talented developers and the support of our incredible customers around the world, the App Store finished off an outstanding 2018 and kicked off 2019 with a bang.”” />
"Brawl Stars," "Asphalt 9," and "Monster Strike" were also noted among top-performing games for the holiday season. "Brawl Stars" is not too surprising, as developer Supercell already dominated the mobile game market via "Clash of Clans" and "Clash Royale."
Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior VP of worldwide marketing, commented on the holiday surge in sales.
Customers spent $1.22 billion in the App Store, much of it on gaming, between Dec. 24 and 31, Apple reported Thursday.
The conglomerate also noted that New Year's Day was a record-breaker as well, with "over $322 million [in spending] on New Year’s Day 2019 alone, setting a new single-day record," according to the news release. This spending marked a massively successful holiday week for Apple, which tracked the increased spending between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve in 2018.
One of the most popular categories customers spent their holiday money in was gaming, as well as in "self-care." Purchases went toward apps or subscription services, with much of the gaming revenue raked in by hit multiplayer games "Fortnite" and "PUBG Mobile."
Plus, "Brawl Stars" cleared more than $10 million worldwide (about $3 million of that from US players) during its first week of release in December, according to SensorTower.

Tumblr said that it would make exceptions for photos of exposed female breasts in the context of breastfeeding, childbirth and other health-related subjects. Users will also be able to continue to post any newsworthy content and art involving nudity, as well as written erotica. The latter, and any content flagged as such, will continue to remain age-restricted.
Tumblr, the social blogging service owned by Verizon's Oath, is getting ready to ban all adult content: Nudity and other X-rated content won't be allowed on the service starting later this month, Tumblr said in a support note Monday.
The platform is also giving users an appeals process to take action if they believe that their content was removed in error. Any x-rated content previously uploaded to Tumblr will only be viewable by the original uploader going forward.
The timing of Tumblr's adult content ban suggests that Tumblr may have opted to rid itself of all x-rated content to regain access to the App Store, as Motherboard reported Monday.” /> However, the latest policy change seems to be equally motivated by outside pressure: Apple removed Tumblr's app from its App Store last month after child porn surfaced within the app.
"Starting Dec 17, adult content will not be allowed on Tumblr, regardless of how old you are," the note reads. "Adult content primarily includes photos, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples, and any content—including photos, videos, GIFs and illustrations—that depicts sex acts."
Yahoo acquired Tumblr for $1.1 billion in 2013. The company, and its new owner Verizon, have since struggled to monetize Tumblr's community.
"We spent considerable time weighing the pros and cons of expression in the community that includes adult content," he wrote. Tumblr CEO Jeff D’Onofrio painted the ban as a move towards a "better, more positive Tumblr" in a blog post Monday. "In doing so, it became clear that without this content we have the opportunity to create a place where more people feel comfortable expressing themselves."

Also on the call, Cook talked about Apple's move into premium entertainment, citing the tech company's recent pact with Oprah Winfrey and alluding to its expected foray into subscription-video business with a slate of original TV shows.
Investors rallied Apple shares to an all-time high Wednesday, pushing the tech behemoth's market capitalization to nearly $1 trillion.
For the most recent quarter, iPhone sales surged 20% and Apple's services unit — which includes iTunes, the App Store and Apple Music — posted a record $9.5 billion in sales, a 31% year-over-year increase. Overall, the Silicon Valley giant posted $53.3 billion in revenue for its fiscal third quarter of 2018 (up 17%) and net income of $11.52 billion (up 32%).
In the June 30 quarter, Apple actually shipped only 1% more iPhone units than the year-earlier period, but the average sales price jumped from $606 last year to $724, reflecting sales of the high-end iPhone X (which starts at $999). According to CEO Tim Cook, the iPhone X was again the best-selling model during the quarter.
He also said over 300 million users now pay for subscriptions through apps available on the App Store. While it didn't break out Apple Music numbers for the June 30 quarter, the music-streaming service's revenue grew more than 50% on a year-over-year basis, Cook told analysts on the earnings call.
“We continue to expect iPhones to refresh on-time in late September," Guggenheim Securities analysts wrote in a research note, with a slate expected to include a larger-screen iPhone X Plus and an iPhone model priced from $749 that adds the iPhone X’s Face ID authentication features. Analysts believe Apple will get more wind at its back with new products anticipated for the fall of 2018 (heading into the holiday-shopping season).
corporation to hit the trillion-dollar milestone. The run-up gives it a market cap of about $973 million (accounting for Apple's share buyback in the quarter), putting the company within spitting distance of becoming the first U.S. The surge in Apple's stock, which ended the day up 5.9% to $201.50 per share, was driven by the company's stellar results for the June 30 quarter, which topped Wall Street expectations.
For its fiscal 2018 Q4, Apple said it expects revenue between $60 billion and $62 billion — 14%-18% higher than the year-earlier quarter, and ahead of analyst projections. Apple investors also reacted enthusiastically to the company's forecast for another sales beat in the current quarter.
“Cord cutting in our view is only going to accelerate,” he said.
— Janko Roettgers contributed to this report.” />