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Spotify CEO Daniel Ek calls on Europe to move faster on tech

The CEO and founder of Spotify has a love-hate view of EU la..

The CEO and founder of Spotify has a love-hate view of EU lawmakers.

Spotify’s Daniel Ek critiqued EU policymakers Tuesday for not adapting quickly enough to digital advancements.

“If we were to move faster, then the whole of Europe’s marketplace would be in much better shape,” Ek said at a POLITICO Playbook Cocktail, adding that the pace of technological change was only growing more swift. “I think the right things are being said and I believe the right things are being done, but we have to move faster.”

The EU should spend less energy crafting policies and regulations, he said, praising voluntary forums instead. He did, however, praise Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s approach to the tech industry.

“We want there to be a fair marketplace and we want there to be more people to compete,” he said. “We think that will bring more innovation. She seems to be all for that.”

The comments come after a spat between Spotify and Apple over their competing streaming services. Spotify has publicly accused Apple of causing “great harm” to its business and consumers. (Ek didn’t mention Apple specifically at the event.)

Spotify opted not to file a formal complaint against Apple for abusing its market power with EU authorities to avoid the bureaucratic and financial drain involved in the process.

Ek also said it was much easier in Europe to grow a company today than it was 10 years ago, praising the EU’s fintech sector and the Estonian ride-sharing firm Taxify.

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