The thing I find to be anticompetitive is that Spotify cannot provide a web link to their own payment processing web page within their app.
Apple has long allowed content providers to opt out of using Apple's own payment system (and paying Apple a cut), but without being able to point users to your payment website, this rings hollow.
As far as Apple Watch goes, the API to allow for downloading content to local storage and playing it back in the background landed in last year's Watch OS update.
Pandora manages this task just fine.
But Spotify doesn't want to use Apple's infrastructure and is compelled to do so regardless.
Spotify is saying that if using Apple payment infrastructure was free, then not allowing other options would not be a problem, but since it's not free, not allowing anything else is a problem, not that Apple charging for the use of its payment infrastructure is a problem in itself.
They are absolutely free to handle billing their customers on their own website and to turn off the ability to pay through their iOS app altogether.
This is, in fact, exactly what Netflix has chosen to do with new users.
Nothing is stopping Spotify from doing the same thing with new and/or existing users.
What they are not free to do is provide a link to their billing web page within their app.
Would you believe it after a citation showing that Spotify itself has already ditched Apple's payment system?
>Spotify & Netflix Are Bypassing Apple's App Store Billing Charges
Both companies are now driving new subscribers to pay directly, avoiding iTunes' 30% cut.
What Spotify is complaining about is that it is possible, but at a massive inconvenience to users, (having to manually type the payment url into safari etc that they need to find manually first), which makes it so that most just decide the burden is not worth the hassle. That's how anti competitive behavior manifests itself, usually. Technically, anything is possible, Spotify can develop an iPhone competitor and then ship the app there, but come on, we both know that's unrealistic.
I believe I mentioned that not being allowed to provide a link to their payment website within their app was anticompetitive in my initial post?
However your assertion that Spotify is forced to use Apple's in app payment system is simply not true. Especially given the fact that they no longer use it at all for new users.
But they absolutely are if they want to offer the same level of experience as Apple Music can.
What they're doing now is significantly degrading the user experience compared to Apple Music, which is the whole premise behind them complaining. I don't know why that needs explaining.
What you're saying is effectively akin to 'the iPhone is not limited to running iOS, because you could disassemble the SoC, reverse engineer the HW and load your own OS on it".
Am sure it would theoretically be possible, however nobody sane would say 'Apple allows multiple operating systems to run on the iPhone'.
Well, you probably can’t advertise your apartment on AirBnb and then Link people to your own payment service that bypasses AirBnb’s fee either. It sort of makes sense.