Parker says Apple may have tried to hinder Spotify’s US launch

By | Published on Thursday 31 May 2012

Sean Parker

Apple may have tried to stop or slow down Spotify’s arrival in the US market says Sean Parker, who’s always there with the killer voxpop when invited to speak at a conference.

Napster co-founder, Facebook investor and Spotify advisor Parker was sitting on a panel with the streaming service’s boss man Daniel Ek at an All Things Digital event in California yesterday. According to Reuters, it was interviewer Walt Mossberg who raised the issue, asking whether either man felt that the iTunes operator might have used its influence in the US record industry to slow down Spotify’s arrival Stateside.

Parker responded: “There was some indication that that might have been happening”, before adding “there is definitely a sense in which Apple was threatened by what we were doing”. Though he admitted that the idea Apple that may have actively hindered Spotify’s negotiations with the US record companies was only hearsay – “you hear things, people send you emails”.

Ever the reliably discreet chief executive (though not quite as good a conference booking as a result), Ek declined to comment on either Mossberg’s question or Parker’s response, though he did that Spotify is “not about competing with iTunes” but rather going head to head with piracy.

How big a threat Apple really thinks Spotify is to iTunes and its related businesses isn’t clear, though in Sweden – the one market where Spotify really is a serious competitor to the Apple download store – it’s thought the IT giant has given a lot of consideration to how to better compete with its newer rival.

Watch the highlights of Parker and Ek’s interview in this video: