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Clouds Gather Over iCloud In Germany: Apple Faces Antitrust Complaint

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Amid ever-growing speculation and buzz around the WWDC, and the details of what Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) will be announcing at its annual developers’ event in San Francisco in a mere few hours’ time, one music streaming startup in Germany is making a canny play on all the attention with a complaint to the against Apple.

The music streaming company Simfy says that it has filed a letter of complaint with the Bundeskartellamt, the country’s antitrust authority, claiming that Apple is abusing its market position by delaying the approval of the company’s iPad app. It has been more than three months since Simfy submitted its app for approval.

While the announcement on Simfy’s site does not mention iCloud or any streaming music service by name, the company is claiming that Apple has delayed approval of the iPad app “in favor of its own strategy.”

Simfy, which currently operates in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, already has an iPhone/iPod app. It works along the lines of Spotify, offering users an on-demand stream of music either as a free, ad-based service; or a monthly-paid, ad-free service.

The existence of Simfy’s other app is partly what makes the delay on the iPad app a little curious: surely it’s the same product, although having an iPad app would give Simfy a unique offering across multiple devices, something that Apple would surely like to offer itself, too.

In the post on the site, Simfy’s CEO Gerrit Schumann sees Apple’s blocking of the site as a “confirmation” of its business strategy and product development — again, an implication that Apple is planning something similar that it would ideally like to launch without extra compeition — although as The Next Web notes, the complaint comes before Apple has even confirmed the existence of a music streaming service. (However, the number of reports about deals being brokered with record labels definitely points in the direction of such a service.)

It’s not clear what happens at this point: can Apple actually get barred from launching its would-be iCloud music product in Germany? Could Simfy get financial compensation? Is this a great way of just getting some extra attention? We have contacted Simfy for more detail and will update this post as we learn more.

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