Apple was recently fined 1.8 billion euros (about $2 billion USD) by the European Union commission, which argues that the company abuses its dominant position to harm Apple Music competitors on iOS. Even so, it seems that the company still has unresolved issues with Spotify, its main competitor, which is now accusing Apple of blocking its app updates in the EU.

Spotify says Apple is blocking its app updates in the EU

As the Digital Markets Act (DMA) came into effect on March 7, 2024, developers can finally distribute their apps to iOS users outside the App Store in the EU. And even for apps available on Apple’s App Store, new rules ensure that developers can use alternative payment methods for in-app purchases.

Spotify submitted an update of its iOS app to Apple on March 5. With this update, the platform completely removed subscriptions using the App Store’s in-app purchase system. Instead, users are now prompted to visit Spotify’s website to subscribe.

However, in an email from Spotify to the EU Commission seen by The Verge, the company accuses Apple of not having approved this update since then. “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,” the email reads.

Spotify spokeswoman Jeanne Moran says 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.” When asked, Apple declined to comment.

It’s not unusual to see Apple holding back and delaying the approval of apps in the App Store because of something they don’t agree with. However, it seems that not even the $2 billion fine has changed the company’s mind about Spotify. It’s worth noting that the EU has ruled that Apple can’t stop developers from telling users about alternative payment methods in their apps.

Developers against Apple

Earlier this month, Spotify and dozens of other companies sent a letter to the EU Commission complaining about “Apple’s lack of DMA compliance.” After the EU said it would continue investigating Apple in relation to DMA, the company relaxed some of its new guidelines for distributing apps outside the App Store.

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