The Growingly Granular & Increasingly Tedious Apple/Spotify Rift

Can someone please settle this?
Spotify’s second iOS app update attempt in EU fails to pass App Store review
A update to Spotify’s app in the App Store is on hold, after the streaming service failed to follow rules allowing links to external sites for purchases.

We're getting awfully granular in the Apple vs. Spotify app fight in the EU.

An App Review email sent to Spotify and viewed by AppleInsider states that version 8.9.33 of Spotify's app was halted from publication to the App Store.

The email explains that Apple created a Music Streaming Services Entitlement for the European Economic Area storefronts, affecting iOS and iPadOS music streaming apps. The entitlement allows streaming services to use external links, buttons, and calls to action to drive users to a developer's website, so they could make a purchase outside of Apple's In-App Purchase mechanism.

Spotify, it seems, is contending that it shouldn't have to accept this new entitlement because it's not linking out to a place to subscribe to Spotify. But this is the key bit from Apple's App Store rejection response:

We note that your current submission includes a call to action to purchase a Spotify subscription on your website. As such, you must accept the terms of the Music Streaming Services Entitlement (EEA) and include the entitlement profile in your app for submission. To be clear, this entitlement is required even if your app does not include an external link (nor does it require that you offer an external link). We will, however, approve version 8.9.33 after you accept the terms of the Music Streaming Services Entitlement (EEA) and resubmit it for review.

In other words, link or not, if you're simply mentioning that a service can be purchased elsewhere, you need to agree to the new entitlement. On one hand, this seems like some first rule of Fight Club shit. On the other, Spotify is clearly just goading Apple and trying to draw the continued eye of EU regulators to the matter.

Spotify's statement on the matter with a Xweet quoting their own quote "Apple continues to break European law”:

Despite Apple's attempts to punish developers with new fees, we remain committed to giving consumers real choice in our app at no increased cost. That's why we have submitted a new update to Apple. It features basic pricing and website information - the bare minimum outlined under the European Commission's ruling in its music streaming case. By charging developers for communicating with consumers through links in-app, Apple continues to break European law. It's past time for the Commission to enforce its decision so that consumers can see real, positive benefits.

The main issue, of course, is that while apps can now link out to the web to drive purchases there, doing so requires that they pay Apple a 27% commission on subscriptions obtained through this link (lowering to 12% for a subscription renewal, or a qualified small business, which obviously Spotify is not). On paper, that's better than the 30% you have to pay Apple through the App Store, but it also doesn't include any payment processing fee that a company would have to pay on their own to handle the transition. In other words, at best, it's the same deal. At worst, it's worse. So of course Spotify isn't going to sign up for that.

At some point, you have to wonder if this back-and-forth is as tiresome for the EU as it is for the rest of us to watch unfold. They should make a clearer ruling one way or another. Right now, Apple would seem to be following the letter of the law, but Spotify is arguing that they're not following the spirit of the law. In the US, a court would likely tell Spotify to get lost with such an argument, but the EU clearly cares about spirits and such. So around and around we go. Like a record, baby. Right 'round, right 'round.