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Spotify refuses to start operation in Russia and fires head of Russia's office

February 02, 2015, 12:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Founded by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon in 2006, Sweden-based Spotify is a service for online legal music tracks playback
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© EPA/RAINER JENSEN

MOSCOW, February 2. /TASS/. Spotify, one of the world's largest internet music services, has abandoned its start-up in Russia and fired the head of its Russian office, according to the message of Alexander Kubaneishvili, the former head of the office, for the Russian partners (the TASS has a copy of this message).

"I regret to say that Spotify has refused to start business in Russia in the nearest future. There are several reasons for that: the economic recession, the political situation, new laws controling (the use of) the internet," Kubaneishvili said.

Kubaneishvili confirmed to TASS the reliability of the message, adding that he was no longer the head of the Russian office of Spotify as of Monday. "My last official working day is February, 12. Speaking for myself, I can only confirm the fact that indeed, there will be no start-up in the nearest future," he added.

Spotify headquarters has not given any comment on the spot. The company's office in Russia will also be closed down, according to a source close to the company's plans.

Spotify could start operating in Russia in the beginning of 2015 as TASS previously reported. For that purpose, Spotify negotiated in the second half of 2014 with the Russian Vimpelcom communications provider on starting partnership, according to media.

Founded by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon in 2006, Sweden-based Spotify is a service for online legal music tracks playback. You can use the service for free with ads or pay $10 per month. At present, the service has 15 million paying subscribers and 60 million free users. The company offices are in Australia, Europe, Turkey, USA, Hong Kong, Mexico and Singapore. Spotify has contractual agreements with such companies as Universal Music Group, Sony Music, EMI, Warner Music, Merlin, The Orchard. The DST investment fund owned by Russian investor Yury Milner is one of Spotify's shareholders.

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