Spotify vs. Apple
: a battle of titans

  • Mafalda Maia Braga (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Over the last decades, we have witnessed a drastic change in our habits and routines, mainly due to the growth of digital markets and technologies. Digital markets are, for this reason, more and more under the scrutiny of competition authorities, aiming at protecting consumer interests and ensuring fair competition. Problems arise when tech giants with gatekeeper positions, like Apple, start acting regardless of the other market participants, often abusing their dominant position. Spotify raised a case against Apple in 2019 regarding its conduct on the App Store. The allegations encompassed the commission associated with the use of Apple’s in-app payment system and the lack of viable alternatives offered to app developers that opt to disable the payment system. Furthermore, Spotify complained that Apple repeatedly rejects its app updates and enhancements while favouring its apps (e.g., Apple Music). Spotify stated that Apple was abusing its dominant position, hence breaching Article 102 TFEU, and the European Commission is now investigating this case. We concluded that Apple seems to be, indeed, abusing its dominant position and attempting to foreclosure competition by applying different rules to app developers that offer similar services and for squeezing their margins. Apple’s monopoly position allows it to act in a discriminatory way, favouring its own services.
Date of Award6 Jul 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorJoana Pinho (Supervisor)


  • Digital markets
  • Apple
  • Spotify
  • Gatekeeper
  • Abuse of dominant position


  • Mestrado em Gestão

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