Apple Music Slams Spotify on Antitrust Lawfare

“We find it troubling that you are asking for exemptions to the rules we apply to all developers and are publicly resorting to rumors and half-truths about our service,”-Bruce Sewell General Counsel Apple Inc in letter to Spotify.

Since the launch of Apple Music Spotify has been on a not so secret “lawfare” campaign against Apple by trying get federal, state and EU authorities to investigate Apple for antitrust violations.

As performers and songwriters you should be concerned about this for two reasons:

  1. Apple Music as an all subscription service pays more than Spotify.
  2. But more importantly, antitrust rules and laws as interpreted by the Department of Justice are now being routinely used to further entrench dominant companies like Amazon and to force creators to accept ridiculously low payments for their works.

The faulty logic is anything that results in lower prices to consumers is good.  This is not good, as it simply turns a monopoly into a “monopsony.”  And monopsonies can produce the same lack of competition by putting suppliers/producers out of business.  Apparently most DOJ antitrust attorneys are planning on being in private practice when the chickens come home to roost on this.  The perfect example of the latter is the recent DOJ rule change which would force songwriters to accept 100% licensing of their songs.   This creates a race to the bottom which benefits monopolies like YouTube but essentially creates a “maximum” wage for songwriters.

If Apple can put a dent in the use of antitrust as “lawfare” we should cheer them on.

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