Senate to call Spotify, Tile witnesses at app store antitrust hearing

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 19
Top legal officials from Spotify, Match, and Tile will speak at an upcoming Senate antitrust hearing examining the Apple and Google app stores.

Credit: James Yarema/Unsplash
Credit: James Yarema/Unsplash


The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights plans to call Horacio Gutierrez, Kirsten Daru, and Jared Sine, top legal officials from Spotify, Tile, and Match Group, respectively. The hearing is slated for Wednesday, April 21.

In addition to the witnesses from Spotify, Tile, and Match, Google's Wilson White, senior director of Government Affairs and Public Policy, will join Apple's Chief Compliance Officer Kyle Andeer in the spotlight at the hearing, Bloomberg reported Monday.

Spotify, Tile, and Match Group have all voiced concerns about Apple's App Store policies. Spotify, for example, claims that Apple favors its own Apple Music platform across its ecosystem, while Tile believes that Apple's Find My app could give its rumored "AirTags" tracking devices an advantage over third-party competitors.

The Senate subcommittee is investigating Apple and Google over antitrust issues and allegations of anti-competitive behavior.

Apple initially decided to skip the Senate hearing, drawing ire from lawmakers. A few days after the Senate penned a letter urging the company to reconsider its decision, Apple confirmed that Andeer would testify.

The chair of the Senate subcommittee, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), in March signaled plans to hold multiple hearings on technology-related topics, including app stores.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,139member
    Apple didn't decline to send someone, Apple requested a different date stating that there are "upcoming matters that have been scheduled for some time and that touch on similar issues", this can apply to many things, such as the keynote which will undoubtedly hold some function for Tile - as well as the next court hearing for Epic on May 3.

    Politicians doing what politicians do best came out with a strawman statement, claiming that Apple declined and how horrible Apple are for declining.
    edited April 19 watto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 2 of 11
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 8,991member
    How about this. Apple and Google get out of the App Store business altogether. Let the developers fend for themselves in setting up a store, letting them pay for advertising, server space, payment processing. Of course third party storefronts will arise offering to provide said services and then charging developers an arm and a leg to be in their storefront. That’s how it works now with the Mac outside the Mac App Store. Naturally small developers will get shafted and go by the wayside. Consumers will have a devil of a time finding useful apps but, hey, that’s too bad. And ban mobile device manufacturers from developing their own apps while you’re at it. Ship the devices without any basic apps like email, browsers, messaging, etc. Let the user try to find and install their own stuff.

    So go ahead, government, do it! Let’s see how it goes.
    leavingthebiggjas99NoFliesOnMeJanNLwilliamlondondewmeuraharawatto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 3 of 11
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,486member
    lkrupp said:
    How about this. Apple and Google get out of the App Store business altogether. Let the developers fend for themselves in setting up a store, letting them pay for advertising, server space, payment processing. Of course third party storefronts will arise offering to provide said services and then charging developers an arm and a leg to be in their storefront. That’s how it works now with the Mac outside the Mac App Store. Naturally small developers will get shafted and go by the wayside. Consumers will have a devil of a time finding useful apps but, hey, that’s too bad. And ban mobile device manufacturers from developing their own apps while you’re at it. Ship the devices without any basic apps like email, browsers, messaging, etc. Let the user try to find and install their own stuff.

    So go ahead, government, do it! Let’s see how it goes.
    This is what the capitalist/corporatist government wants isn't it? This way all the small developers will fail and only the big guys succeed. That's capitalism at its grandest.

    Of course, as you say, that will ruin everything Apple has provided for the million developers who don't have the money to build their own store. It will also effectively shut Apple down, which some members of Congress want. 
    jas99EsquireCatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    DaRevDaRev Posts: 23member
    I fully support Apple opening up its ecosystem for anyone to open any store or release any app they want commission free, just like I support Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Gamestop, Best Buy, Walmart, and Target doing the same, offering direct sales with no cut taken by the big box retailers.
    edited April 19 EsquireCatstmaybeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 5 of 11
    How about instead of those who have a biased and profit-based interest in the outcome, they invite someone like Joe Consumer to the hearings. Seems very lacking when only the business owners (who all lie anyway) are called and testify.

    Perhaps just a reading of public forums like this (with very definite views) would be enlightening.

    Might as well ask for a pink polo pony while I'm dreaming.
    watto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 6 of 11
    How about instead of those who have a biased and profit-based interest in the outcome, they invite someone like Joe Consumer to the hearings. Seems very lacking when only the business owners (who all lie anyway) are called and testify.
    Good point. Government does have a tendency to treat owners/investors as the sum total of 'business'. Consumers and employees are equally important. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    fred1fred1 Posts: 743member
    I’m old enough to remember capitalism in the US. I mean when a company could produce something and compete against others. Has anyone on the Judiciary Committee heard of the Android OS?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 11
    How about instead of those who have a biased and profit-based interest in the outcome, they invite someone like Joe Consumer to the hearings. Seems very lacking when only the business owners (who all lie anyway) are called and testify.

    Perhaps just a reading of public forums like this (with very definite views) would be enlightening.

    Might as well ask for a pink polo pony while I'm dreaming.
    Why would they do that?  These politicians aren't interested in the consumer qua consumer, they're only interested in a consumer as a club to use against those over whom they perceive they don't have enough control.

    If they really cared about consumers, they'd stop taking campaign money from businesses, and stop promoting monopolies.
    dewmewilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    uraharaurahara Posts: 521member
    fred1 said:
    I’m old enough to remember capitalism in the US. I mean when a company could produce something and compete against others. Has anyone on the Judiciary Committee heard of the Android OS?
    And before Andoird OS about Blackberry, Nokia "smartphones"...

    Why did people leave Blackberry for Apple, if Apple is so abusive? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,177member
    > ...... Spotify, Tile, and Match Group have all voiced concerns about Apple's App Store policies. Spotify, for example, claims that Apple favors its own Apple Music platform across its ecosystem, while Tile believes that Apple's Find My app could give its rumored "AirTags" tracking devices an advantage over third-party competitors ......<

    How is this any different than Pepsi and Coca Cola having to compete with Lucky own brand of Sunny Select soda? In the same store and on the same shelf. Lucky own brand of sodas goes for $.99/2 liters , while Pepsi and Coca Cola brands goes for $1.99/2 liters. 

    Or Kirkland batteries at Costco?

    Or Walmart own brand, in a Walmart?

    Or Walgreens own brand, in a Walgreens?  

    Why can't I order a Coke in a KFC or Taco Bell? Could it be that KFC and Taco Bell are own by Yum? And Yum was once a subsidiary of PepsiCo, Inc., so they are still contracted to sell only Pepsi brand sodas in their diners?  

    Can Microsoft demand that Apple Stores carry their "Surface" (without any form of compensation), because Apple Stores seems to have a monopoly share of the computer shoppers in any of the shopping malls they're located? Could the government force the mall owner to allow Microsoft to open up a Microsoft Store, rent free? So to "level the playing field"?

    So long as iOS is not a monopoly in the market place, Apple can favor their own brand in an ecosystem that they created and maintain, for the purpose of attracting consumers to buy iDevices. Just like how Lucky, Costco, Walmart and Walgreen price their own brands, to attract customers into their stores. 
    edited April 20 watto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 11 of 11
    fred1 said:
    I’m old enough to remember capitalism in the US. I mean when a company could produce something and compete against others. Has anyone on the Judiciary Committee heard of the Android OS?
    Arguably, the US hasn't been "capitalist" since the 19th century.
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