Is Apple Protecting iTunes By Slowing Spotify’s Success?

Spotify director Sean Parker says Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may have tried to prevent the music streaming service from entering the U.S. market because it felt threatened by it. Parker, who was also an early investor in Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), said he had received indications from dealings with people inside the industry that Apple was trying to create some impediments for Spotify’s expansion.

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“There was some indication that that might have been happening,” Parker said at the All Things Digital Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes on Wednesday in response to a question. Before answering the question, he reportedly glanced at Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek, saying he could “get away with saying things” that Ek could not. “There is definitely a sense in which Apple was threatened by what we were doing,” Parker said.

When Spotify, which allows consumers to listen to a catalog of songs streamed online to their computers and smartphones, tried to launch in the United States last year, it experienced delays related to licensing arrangements with music companies. However, Parker says that during negotiations “you hear things, people send you emails.”

However, he said that music was only a small part of Apple’s overall business. “Even if their music store component of iTunes went away, it wouldn’t be hugely significant to their bottom line.”

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