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.

"If you had five Baby Facebooks, they would still have an incentive to steal" or otherwise use their scale to thwart rivals, Singer says.
That would likely require a new federal law (or new interpretation of existing law) to bar the type of anticompetitive behavior the major tech players have been accused of. antitrust laws are geared around price harms to consumers, whereas the likes of Google and Facebook offer their services for free. One of the issues is that current U.S.
European regulators ruled that parts of agreements between Google and Android partners violated European law, including requiring manufacturers to pre-install the Google Search app and Chrome browser app as a condition for licensing Google’s Play Store app. antitrust probes would be a fine like the $5 billion penalty the European Commission imposed last year, according to Citigroup analyst Mark May. For Google, the worst-case scenario of the U.S. antitrust case against Facebook is “even less clear than it is for Alphabet,” May added. Meanwhile, a U.S.
Saber-rattling from D.C. The growing backlash against Silicon Valley giants, who are viewed as harming competitors and wielding inordinate power over a key sector of the economy, could become part of the conversation in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. about curbing the power of tech titans Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple has gotten louder.
Court of Appeals rejected the idea that Microsoft should be broken up as the remedy for anticompetitive behavior. government filed an antitrust suit — joined by 20 states — against Microsoft, seeking to break it up. The complaint centered on the software giant's bundling of Windows and Internet Explorer together. The DOJ won an initial ruling approving splitting Microsoft into two entities (an OS company and an applications company). It's worth noting that two decades ago, the U.S. The Justice Department later reached a settlement with Microsoft, which among other concessions agreed to share APIs with third parties. But the D.C.
"Breakup remedies are radical and they frequently have unintended consequences," says Prof. Herb Hovenkamp of the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School. "Judges aren’t good at breaking up companies."
Crane, senior professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School. For a "let's break up Big Tech" antitrust movement to happen, as Sen. Daniel A. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has proposed, "there would have to be a sea change first in how the antitrust enforcement agencies think about antitrust and then in how the courts think about it," says Prof.
For now, expect business as usual among the big technology companies, according to Wall Street analysts.
"Unwarranted, concentrated economic power in the hands of a few is dangerous to democracy — especially when digital platforms control content," Pelosi wrote. "The era of self-regulation is over."
Even if government regulators decide they have credible grounds to pursue antitrust cases against Big Tech, it will be at least five years — perhaps longer — before anything concrete happens as they wind through the court system, according to legal experts and industry analysts. But could that lead to the U.S. breaking up one or more of the tech companies? It's a long shot.
The prospect of major regulatory action against tech companies spooked investors — shares of Alphabet, Google's parent company, fell 6% on Monday — but tech stocks rebounded Tuesday amid a broader market uptick.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) joined the fray Tuesday in a pair of tweets, citing the House Judiciary's launch of "a long overdue investigation to determine if dominant digital platforms have harmed Americans in the marketplace & the voting booth." Her statements come a week after she lashed out at Facebook when the company refused to remove a doctored video.
action against Google would come after "significant business practice scrutiny by the EU that has resulted in limited impact on Google's ad business," BofA Merrill Lynch analyst Justin Post wrote in a note Monday. He also pointed out that an FTC probe into Google ended in 2013 "without further action into whether Google used its dominant web search position to disadvantage rivals." Any U.S.
Historically, antitrust law considers consumer harms in terms of pricing. can use to rein in the big tech firms. But if, for example, Amazon or Facebook steal an idea from a competitor or acquire a startup before it can become a rival, "that doesn't result in higher prices — it’s some future innovation harm," says Hal Singer, fellow at George Washington Institute Public Policy. Going down the antitrust path could take up to a decade to reach a resolution, according to Singer. The question is what legal grounds the U.S.
But for now, the idea that Facebook, Google, Apple or Amazon will be broken up remains just rhetoric.” /> It may be becoming fashionable to speak out against Big Tech.
The chorus for the American government to "do something" about Big Tech has included Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes (who hasn't worked at Facebook in over a decade) urging the U.S. government to find a way to break up the social giant to rein in its "unprecedented and un-American power."
But the current political climate is somewhat different, Post acknowledged, and he believes that if the DOJ moves ahead against Google that "would likely embolden critics of Facebook, Amazon and other tech giants as well" heading into the 2020 election year.
regulators to do something, or at least make it look like they're trying. The DOJ is looking into Google and Apple and the FTC is examining Facebook and Amazon, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission in the past few weeks have divvied up their oversight of Big Tech with potential antitrust probes in the offing, per multiple reports. Political pressure is building on U.S.
Even so, it's not clear that breaking up tech giants would actually work to fix the problem, for example, by requiring Facebook to spin off Instagram and WhatsApp or making Google divest YouTube, says Singer. Congress might get there faster through legislation, akin to the Glass-Steagall provisions of the Banking Act of 1933, which forced banks to separate commercial and investment banking.

I don’t know yet to whom we’re going to offer it. I wrote a screenplay for a two and half hour film, because there was a lot of material, and now I think that I might turn that into a six episode series. The script has a thriller inspiration, as my films often do, and I think the story is better for a TV series than it is for a film. First I’ll have to finish the screenplays, then get them translated, and then I’ll look into the different platforms. We’ll take it step by step. It’s more likely that we’ll start with HBO because we already have experience with them, but we’ll see. With that kind of form you can employ different points of view with different episodes. At the moment, I have too many plans to write and produce and direct everything that we’ve organized.
A ubiquitous presence on the festival circuit, the Romanian director has won prizes for his follow-up films “Beyond the Hills” and “Graduation,” served on juries at the Cannes and Marrakech film festivals, and acted as guest director for the TorinoFilmLab earlier this year.
Was that the case with “Lemonade?”
And I did, in a way. Because it’s my name associated with the project, I read the screenplays and suggested some changes, especially with regards to dialogue. They looked for many production houses, [and in the end came to my company Mobra Films] because I think they expected me to have some creative over-view on the project. They were there long before Netflix or Amazon even thought about making films, so they grew in a certain way, and after years and years of just adapting content, they decided that it was time to produce something more interesting. HBO has been in Romania for a long while.
How did you come to executive produce the HBO series “Hackerville?”
Back in Marrakech for a career spanning masterclass, the filmmaker sat down with Variety to discuss his recent career developments and his upcoming projects.
In February, I’m producing a film [titled “The Father Who Moved Mountains”] for a Romanian director named Daniel Sandu. I thought that if he retouched his screenplay a little bit, he could really hit at some core human values that everybody could understand. I think he has great potential with this screenplay, so long as he understands a bit better how little changes can make a big difference in the end. He made a very good first film, and I tried to push him further for his second, telling him to make it for a larger audience than just people in Romania. But this year we need to shoot! We need some snowstorms, and with global warming we waited all winter for them last year and they never came. For once it’s a film dependent on the weather. He wrote the screenplay, and now I’m working with him to revise it a bit and to make sure the accent falls on the right ideas.
Building on the attention and opportunities that arrived following his 2007 Palme d’Or for “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,” Cristian Mungiu has transformed himself into a quiet force in the European film industry.
While technology and the Internet were changing cinema, our legislation was stuck in the 1980s. Filmmakers know what would be best for the European industry. I spent some time working on this, because it won’t be changed every other year. Now they’re doing something about it, and it’s important that they have our input. I’m trying to get involved in reshaping European legislation about cinema, because I think that we shouldn’t allow the politicians to do this without giving our input. That period when filmmakers were just some funny artists thinking about their work is over.
What kind of legislation are you specifically looking to pass?
It’s a war film set in the past, so the production needs a bit more time. It’s the story of my grandmother, and it will be a larger-scale film than anything I’ve done so far. I like to think that it’s her book, somehow. In the ‘90s I took the time to spend a summer with my grandmother to write her story. It’s difficult to turn it into a film, but now is the time to do it. I developed as a writer, and came to filmmaking more as a writer than as a cinephile. I originally had written it as a book, so now I’m in this strange position of adapting my own unpublished book. It will be my most personal project.
You’ve been producing more and more in recent years. What prompted that shift in focus?
What else are working on in the near time? Because of the larger scale, that film is still a few years off.
What is the status of the show going forward?
What could you tell about your next feature film?
I never thought I would produce for somebody else, but little by little I felt some attachment to other people’s ideas, and realized it would be a good way to help out other filmmakers. I don’t make movies that often, so sometimes I can [help other filmmakers]. People give me stuff all the time. Once you have a production house and once you get this knowledge of how to do things, it becomes easy for you. Can you read this screenplay?” I never wanted to be a producer. “Can you watch this film? It came naturally, somehow.
Somewhere where you could find whatever kind of film you want and access it legally. You can’t ask people not to pirate unless you give them a legal [alternative], and I think this is a project that the European Commission should be working on right now. There needs to be a better connection between producers of audio-visual content and the huge amount of profit generated by their work. It will take a lot of work organizing this project [if for no other reason than the fact that] nobody has sold the VOD rights to films made in the 1960s, because VOD didn’t exist at the time. Now we are trying to see if it’s possible to create a general kind of European VOD platform open to the rest of the world. It’s all based on accessing content. I know it’s not a popular idea with politicians, but the freedom to access such content should come with some larger support structure behind it. So now it’s difficult to do this, but it’s important to offer access to this kind of content in a legally structured way.” />
On top your production charges, you’ve also been spending time in Brussels working with the European Commission.
So we spent a couple of weeks there, and I was so naïve I thought I would literally bump into some producer on the street and he would give me money to make my first film. [“Lemonade” director] Ioana Uricaru is a friend. We wrote a screenplay together in the early 2000s, and we submitted it to some screenplay competition and won. for the international competition. I knew the screenplay for a long while, and I thought that I owed it to her, to close the circle in a way. So I produced her first film 20 years later. But Ioana decided to make her career in L.A. She went back to film school, and got a PhD, and now she’s a scholar there, but she could never direct and produce anything. I decided to go back to Romania and get myself noticed working there, in my own language. We won the national competition, and then went to L.A. At the end of those two weeks, we made very different decisions.
It came within the budget and within the number of days scheduled, so now we might take the next step forward, and pitch them some original content as well, instead of exec-producing something they brought to us. We’re now waiting for the decision about the second season, but I think HBO was very pleased with the first season. I think we did well.