A director at Spotify claims that Apple tried to prevent them from entering the US market. Sean Parker says that Cupertino felt threatened by their presence and that he got the impression from others in the industry that Apple tried to thwart them from entering their home turf.
Parker spoke at the All Things Digital conference in Rancho Palos Verdes yesterday. His comments came in response to Walt Mossberg asking if Apple had tried to keep Spotify out of the US. Reuters notes that there was a brief moment of silence and awkward looks between Parker and Spotify chief Daniel Ek sitting beside him before the director moved forward to answer.
It was during Spotify’s negotiations with executives in the music industry that he learned of Apple’s alleged intent. He told Mossberg that you hear things and that people send you emails, further suggesting that Apple might have felt threatened.
"There was some indication that that might have been happening," Parker said while also noting that he could “get away with saying things” that Ek could not.
Parker got his start as an entrepreneur when he co-founded Napster with Shawn Fanning in 1999. He later went on to become the first president and investor of Facebook before ultimately serving on Spotify’s board after a $15 million investment in 2010. He was portrayed by Justin Timberlake in the 2010 movie “The Social Network.”
Spotify launched in the US last July as an invite-only service before opening its doors for anyone to join in September. As of January 2012, the service had 3 million paid subscribers which represented 20 percent of their overall active user base.
The publication says that Apple declined to comment on the allegations.