Sonos cofounder hits back at Spotify CEO Daniel Ek for complaining about Apple

May 7, 2020, 5:21 PM UTC
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek giving presentation in which he is criticizing Apple's closed platform
Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek, pictured left, has criticized Apple for disadvantaging rival services and operating a closed platform. Spotify filed an antitrust complaint against Apple with the European Union last year.
Sebastian Reuter / Stringer

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek reiterated previous gripes he’s had with Apple during an interview this week, saying its platform is still not open enough to third-party apps like the Sweden-based music streamer. But according to the cofounder of high-end speaker and home audio company Sonos, Spotify operates an even-more closed ecosystem than Apple.

In a tweet posted Wednesday, Sonos cofounder John MacFarlane said it was “solid irony” that Ek was criticizing Apple’s platform. “Having worked closely with both Apple and Spotify, I would say it’s more significantly more difficult to work within Spotify’s ‘closed’ ecosystem than Apple’s,” he wrote. “Respect and appreciate both companies, but ‘open’ Spotify is not.”

Sonos products for the most part rely on third-party services like Spotify and Apple Music to stream music, podcasts, and audiobooks through the Sonos app. Industry analysts and commentators have suggested in recent years that Apple buy Sonos to boost its struggling HomePod smart speaker business.

In his tweet, MacFarlane shared a link to a recent Bloomberg interview with Ek. In it, Ek said that he has seen encouraging signs from Apple—like rolling out a feature allowing Siri to control music services other than Apple Music—since filing an antitrust complaint against Apple with the European Union a year ago.

In the complaint, Spotify accused Apple of disadvantaging rival services by taking a 30% cut of subscriptions and limiting functionality on the Apple Watch and Siri.

Apple responded to the complaint last year, saying its App Store helped Spotify become successful. “The majority of customers use their free, ad-supported product, which makes no contribution to the App Store,” Apple said in March 2019. “Even now, only a tiny fraction of their subscriptions fall under Apple’s revenue-sharing model. Spotify is asking for that number to be zero.”

In the Bloomberg interview, Ek said that he expects Apple to open up in the long term. “It’s moving in the right direction, but,” he added, “we still have many, many steps to go before we consider Apple an open and fair platform.”

Our mission to help you navigate the new normal is fueled by subscribers. To enjoy unlimited access to our journalism, subscribe today.

More must-read entertainment coverage from Fortune:

—Taika Waititi is officially directing a new Star Wars movie
—The best streaming services for live TV in 2020, according to critics
—‘The Last Dance’ director is racing to finish episodes. Kobe Bryant and “the price of global fame” is next
—How CBS legal drama All Rise made its virtual coronavirus episode
—Inside the earliest days of CNN and the birth of 24-hour cable news
—PODCAST: How Marc Benioff is helping out during the coronavirus pandemic
—WATCH: One on one with Grace Potter

Subscribe to How To Reopen, Fortune’s weekly newsletter on what it takes to reboot business in the midst of a pandemic