A group of European tech firms, including Spotify, Deezer and Rocket Internet, have taken shots at the likes of Apple and Google in a letter sent to the European Union.
The letter, obtained and published by Business Insider, doesn’t directly mention either of the two tech giants but accuses ‘major online platforms’ of abusing their positions.
The group of companies, which also includes Blackpills, FaberNovel, Qobuz, LeKiosk, Snips, and United Internet, complains that these major platforms of becoming gatekeepers rather than gateways to consumers.
“When working well, major online platforms – be they mobile operating systems, app stores, search engines, marketplaces or social media platforms – are gateways to the digital economy: they enable consumers to access innovative services; they spur innovation and help small business and start-ups reach new markets; and they drive investment, growth and employment,” the letter reads.
“Our collective experience is that where online platforms have strong incentive to turn into gatekeepers because of their dual role, instead of maximising consumer welfare, they can and do abuse their privileged position and adopt B2B practices with adverse consequences for innovation and competition.”
The CEO-signed letter criticises the big boys of restricting access to companies’ own app data and making it difficult to interact with consumers, as well as biased rankings and search results, imbalanced terms and conditions, and a preference for their own services.
Last year, Spotify accused Apple of blocking an update to its app because the tech giant wanted to limit Spotify’s ability to rival Apple Music.