Antitrust Lawfare Breaking Out by Google and Spotify Against Apple–Using Your Music

Why does this story matter to artists? Spotify free ad supported rates are killing artists. They pay just 1/7th of what the subscription services pay. Just when it looks like there is some hope that a large premium only streaming service will gain traction  (Apple Music) Spotify is doing everything to kill it. Remember Apple Music will pay at least 8 times as much as Spotify free!  Spotify is basically trying to take money out of your pockets with this move.  Torches and Pitchforks time folks.

As we have reported here before, since Spotify hired Jonathan Prince a former Obama administration official to run their DC operations they have aggressively engaged Lawmakers and Federal Regulators to intervene on behalf of the private company. So far this strategy has worked. In the latest twist they have managed to get what appears to be a pay to play investigation by the FTC of their much smaller rival. The investigation appears to be pure harassment as it wants the FTC to investigate Apple’s 30% that it marks up apps and music sold in the iTunes store. This is the rate the company has charged since the stores inception. So what is the point of the FTC investigation? Is profit margin somehow illegal? This is Crazypants™ Is the FTC gonna start mandating the profit margin on your business? Chris Castle is exactly right someone needs to do a “Freedom of Information” request. All emails, phone records, etc between Spotify and FTC. Here is how you do this:

https://www.ftc.gov/about-ftc/foia/foia-request

Finally are there any academics/ post docs out there willing to research and investigate the lobbying efforts of Spotify with FTC, Attorney’s General and EU?  Need someone experienced in FOIA efforts.  I’m willing to find grant or fellowship money for you.  This is not a joke.

MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

As reported in The Verge, that ever-reliable source for Spotify press releases, the Federal Trade Commission is apparently continuing its investigation of Google….no wait…Apple.  Sorry, that’s the European Commission that’s investigating Google.  We’ll come back to that.

And what is the FTC investigating this time and at whose request? Spotify’s misleading and muddled advertising campaign trying to get Spotify users on iOS devices to drop their subscriptions through the Apple App Store and resubscribe directly through Spotify?  So Spotify could use its dominant position in the global music subscription market to avoid paying App Store commission?

No, not that.

Maybe this, as reported by the highly credible tech journalist Kara Swisher in the widely-read Re/Code:

Omid Kordestani, who has just temporarily replaced Nikesh Arora as chief business officer of Google, is joining the board of Spotify, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

In addition, sources…

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