Ahead of Apple’s antitrust hearing, U.S Senator Amy Klobuchar says that its AirTag announcement, on April 20, was ‘timely’. Reuter reports that Senator Klobuchar will like to discuss such conduct at the hearing on April 21. Earlier this month, the Cupertino tech giant confirmed the company’s representation by its Chief Compliance Officer, Kyle Andeer to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights.
The scope of the upcoming hearing is to examine the competition issues raised by app stores. Since the majority of mobile apps are distributed via Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store, Apple’s testimony on the matter was significant. Senator Klobuchar wrote to the company that, “Apple’s power over the cost, distribution, and availability of mobile applications on the Apple devices used by millions of consumers raises serious competition issues that are of interest to the Subcommittee, consumers, and app developers. A full and fair examination of these issues before the Subcommittee requires Apple’s participation.”
Newly announced AirTag and Find My app are likely to be discussed at Apple’s upcoming antitrust
At the ‘Spring loaded’ event, the Cupertino tech giant introduced its Bluetooth tracking device, AirTag. Paired with Find My app, AirTag will enable users to easily track their devices. However, competitor tracker company, Tile has accused Apple of anti-competitive behavior of pushing its product and marginalizing competing devices. Therefore, Senator Klobuchar says that now Cupertino tech giant will face the security it deserves.
“It’s timely given that this is the type of conduct that we’ll be talking about at the hearing,” Klobuchar said, adding that criticisms of Apple and Google’s app stores had not received the scrutiny that they deserved. “There had been a bit less focus on this than I think there needed to be.”
In its defense, the iPhone maker denies any wrongdoing and said:
“We have always embraced competition as the best way to drive great experiences for our customers, and we have worked hard to build a platform in iOS that enables third-party developers to thrive,” Apple said in a statement.
Furthermore, it is also mentioned that Spotify Chief Legal Officer Horacio Gutierrez and Match Group Chief Legal Officer Jared Sine are on the list to testify at the hearing as well. Both companies are critics 30% App Store commission rate and are expected to testify against Apple. Having said that, the Cupertino tech company changed its commission structure last year by reducing the App Store fee to 15% for small developers who earned equal to or less than $1 million annually.