Spotify, Tile, and Match Group call Apple anticompetitive at Senate hearing

Posted:
in General Discussion
Representatives from Spotify, Match Group, and Tinder testified against Apple at a Senate hearing Wednesday, accusing the Cupertino company of anticompetitive conduct.

Credit: WikiMedia Commons
Credit: WikiMedia Commons


The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights held a hearing focused on app marketplaces like the App Store and Google Play Wednesday. It called witnesses from several companies that have accused Apple of abusing its market power.

"Apple abuses its dominant position as a gatekeeper of the App Store to insulate itself from competition and disadvantage rival services like Spotify," said Horacio Gutierrez, Spotify's chief legal officer.

Gutierrez went on to say that third-party developers are what make the iPhone successful, adding that Apple has a long history of "using App Store policies to handicap Spotify and benefit Apple Music."

Match legal representative Jared Sine recounted a story of how Apple allegedly rejected an app update to Tinder that contained features aimed at boosting user safety.

When Sine contacted an Apple executive, the executive "disagreed with our assessment of how to run our business and keep our users safe." Sine added that the person told him that Match Group "should be glad that Apple is not taking all of Match's revenue."

Tile's Kirsten Daru went after Apple's Find My network and the recently announced AirTags. She characterized those systems as an attempt for Apple to "enter the market" and "take it over." Daru also cited the "magic onboarding flow" of first-party Apple accessories as evidence of the company's anticompetitive behavior.

Kyle Andeer, Apple's chief compliance officer, also testified at the hearing. For his part, he said that the App Store revolutionized software distribution.

He also reiterated Apple's position that app Store commissions are much lower than historical rates for software distribution, and that its tight controls are aimed at ensuring quality, security, and privacy for users.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), the chair of the antitrust subcommittee, likened Apple and Google to gatekeepers who have the power to decide whether third-party apps can actually be distributed to iPhone or Android users. She says that becomes a problem when Apple and Google also make competing software products.

"Capitalism is about competition. It's about new products coming on. It's about new competitors emerging. This situation, to me, doesn't seem like that's happening when you have two companies really each dominating in different areas," Klobuchar said.

This isn't the first time Apple has been in the spotlight for antitrust concerns. Apple CEO Tim Cook testified before a U.S. House antitrust committee in 2020 as part of a broader investigation into technology companies. That investigation concluded that Apple and other tech giants enjoy monopoly power over their respective markets.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,320member
    Tinder?? BWAHAHAAHAAHAA!!

    Tinder is complaining about privacy but conveniently left out Android.

    Why is Tile bit**ing? Apple’s Find My network is wide open for them.
    lolliverpulseimagesn2itivguypatchythepiratelordjohnwhorfinspliff monkeyroundaboutnowwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 36
    pslicepslice Posts: 120member
    I’m sorry, but they are all a bunch of jealous whiney babies. 
    BeatslolliverpulseimagesJFC_PApatchythepiratespliff monkeywatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 36
    Boo hoo. These companies would have been well aware of the terms and conditions involved with leveraging the Apple ecosystem. If they had concerns, they should have focused their product development efforts elsewhere. But my statement is a broken record. Maybe these whiners should ban together and build their own ecosystem. Oops...there I go again playing another broken record...
    edited April 21 rammorrisBeatsn2itivguyLeoMCspliff monkeywatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 36
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,613member
    Capitalism is about competition. Competition is about beating your competitors by building a better product or service than what your competitors have built. It’s not about using the government and misinformed politicians to steal, hijack, or commandeer your competitor’s work, property, and investment to better serve your own needs, so you don’t have to work as hard as your competitors. 

    This whole charade is a travesty and government sponsored heist and attempt to reward losers who don’t have what it takes to compete. There’s a big difference between “can’t compete” and “won’t compete.” Losers gravitate towards the latter. 

    I generally like Sen. Klobuchar, but these proceedings are a total crock and a loser rodeo. Start ordering the Participation Trophies now because they’re going to be handing out a whole bunch of them after this dog & pony show wraps up. 



    lolliverpulseimagesmac_dogwilliamlondonpscooter63lordjohnwhorfinspliff monkeyroundaboutnowwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 36
    amar99amar99 Posts: 69member
    Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.
    If you don't like Apple's practices, don't be a part of the "problem" and just leave their platform...!
    edited April 21 watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 36
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,320member
    “Capitalism is about competition. It's about new products coming on. It’s about new competitors emerging.”

    Except for Apple. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 36
    Why Klobacher wants to tear down a great American company that is leading in the global economy is beyond me. Apple built and invested in its ecosystem. It was not the product of anticompetitive behavior. As with any large company with strong branding and a loyal customer base, it gets to leverage its customer base. Tiles complaint appears baseless. We are not talking about monopolistic pricing because Apple doesn’t have a monopoly in trackers. Nor can Tile complain that Apple has erected barriers to Tiles entry into the market. Tile is complaining that a new entrant to the market has a large established customer base. But the bottom line is Apple is consistently a late entry in markets. It just consistently builds a better product for consumers- a goal of competition. Is Tiles position that the Congress should prevent large established companies from competing by making better products? Nice to know Apple didn’t whine when it batted Big Blue and Microsoft. 
    JFC_PABombdoeBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 36
    Out of all the people there, Tile sticks out like a sore thumb. Another company simply built a better platform and product, I think that's called competition.

    The Find My network only exists because of the unique position Apple is in as the creator of the hardware and software, this sort of network can't be created by third parties. Consumers shouldn't be denied innovative technologies like this just because third-parties don't like that their being put out of business. They should have already identified they were vulnerable and either developed a competing product, diversified or pivoted to something else. One company shouldn't be able to stop another company from innovating because it hurts their business.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 36
    Spotify would be better if their app wasn’t so clunky compared to Apple Music. 
    williamlondonlordjohnwhorfingenovelleBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 36
    Any business that builds on top of someone else's platform or technology is vulnerable. That's why Apple likes to own its core technologies. A lot of these companies clearly don't understand this fact.
    n2itivguyLeoMCwilliamlondonpscooter63genovelleBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 36
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,428member
    Spotify would be better if their app wasn’t so clunky compared to Apple Music. 

    Well that's only because Apple is yet again being anticompetitive, because they have a monopoly over the iOS user interface and can take advantage of their UI designers.
    edited April 21 kkqd1337
  • Reply 12 of 36
    mjtomlin said:
    Spotify would be better if their app wasn’t so clunky compared to Apple Music. 

    Well that's only because Apple is yet again being anticompetitive, because they have a monopoly over the iOS user interface and can take advantage of their UI designers.
    Sshhh, you’re letting your ignorance show. 
    edited April 21 lordjohnwhorfinBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 36
    applguyapplguy Posts: 134member
    Spotify has a web player. The simplest reason they have an iOS app is access to Apple customers. 
    dewmetmayBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 36
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 889member
    mjtomlin said:
    Spotify would be better if their app wasn’t so clunky compared to Apple Music. 

    Well that's only because Apple is yet again being anticompetitive, because they have a monopoly over the iOS user interface and can take advantage of their UI designers.
    I don’t hear other developers complaining about the UI. Hmmm... methinks they’re just a bunch of lazy fucks who just didn’t make the mega millions with their product they thought they would. Time to wake up and start doing some real work. 
    pulseimageswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 36
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,613member
    mjtomlin said:
    Spotify would be better if their app wasn’t so clunky compared to Apple Music. 

    Well that's only because Apple is yet again being anticompetitive, because they have a monopoly over the iOS user interface and can take advantage of their UI designers.
    I assume this is sarcasm. 

    Apple's apps are built using the same UI libraries (or worse) as those used by third party apps. In some cases I’d be willing to bet that Apple refactored library code that they developed from scratch to make it easier for third parties to use, so the third party developers didn’t have to climb nearly the same steep hill that the Apple developers had to climb. 

    Apple competes for the best UX designers just like everyone else does. They don’t have a monopoly on getting the best designers by any stretch of the imagination. 

    Apple definitely has an advantage when it comes to having exclusive access to their underlying hardware. This is the essence of what makes Apple … Apple, and not Microsoft, not Google, not Qualcomm, not Intel, and not an open platform. They take on a huge risk for being a totally integrated hardware-software provider when few other dare try - small market share. Because their market share is so small they have to be incredibly good at what they do or else they’d be marginalized out of existence. 

    These asshats that say that Apple should be more like Microsoft are basically saying that Apple should be destroyed. If you take a company that lives or dies with a small market share by being incredibly effective where it matters and try to force them to be mediocre and tolerant of half baked solutions, they will evaporate very quickly. Companies like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon can afford to be sloppy and fire off duds on a regular basis because they have massive market share and can absorb failures more easily. If Apple screws up just one golden goose like the iPhone, iPad, or App Store they will drop like a rock. 
    pscooter63pulseimageswd4fsuBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 36
    tshapitshapi Posts: 343member
    Personally, I think the issue is that companies like Spotify and Match Group don’t want to pay apples 15-30% fee.  

    As other people mentioned, It this was un biased, why isn’t there anything in here about these companies and there complaints about android? 
    lordjohnwhorfinBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 36
    entropysentropys Posts: 2,966member
    Capitalism is about competition. Competition is about beating your competitors by building a better product or service than what your competitors have built. It’s not about using the government and misinformed politicians to steal, hijack, or commandeer your competitor’s work, property, and investment to better serve your own needs, so you don’t have to work as hard as your competitors

    A liberty quote indeed.
  • Reply 18 of 36
    BombdoeBombdoe Posts: 47member
     I think each of these complaints needs to be judged individually.

    Tinder:  not sure how Apple are anti-competitive since Apple do not offer /operate a rival dating service. The Tinder app is allowed on the app store, so where is Apple's anti-competitive behaviour to them.

    Spotify:  Apple does very much compete in Spotify's space. Clearly direct competitors.  Spotify are allowed to have their app on the Apple app store.  So no blocking their access to the platform.  What about pricing?  This could be an area of complaint if Apple sold its music service at below cost in order to undercut Spotify (and other competitors) in order to drive them out of business. Apple has the $$$ to pursue this approach.  This is a pricing comparison I found from a 2020 CNET article. Clearly no undercutting by Apple with pricing pretty similar to Spotify.



    Tile:  Apple have allowed Tile access to their Find My app.  Now Apple have released their own tracking tile product and the pricing for them are:

    Air Tag: 1x = $29;  4x = $99

    Tile Mate: 1x = $24;  4x = $69  ,  Tile Pro: 1x = $34.99;  4x = $99.99 

    So what's the issue here. There is no undercutting in price. Surely anyone is allowed to do business in any space they choose to - if done within the law. 

    If Apple is behaving inappropriately then that should be called out and dealt with. But the charge has to be correct and not just based on businesses not being happy they have competition and/or are having to abide by someone's else's rules (and pay for it).  Apple should be allowed to run its App store as it wants to (within the law) if it wants to maintain certain standards of quality and control. And yes, to make money from it as well. 



    ravnorodommuthuk_vanalingamroundaboutnowwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 36
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,217member
    >Tile's Kirsten Daru went after Apple's Find My network and the recently announced AirTags. She characterized those systems as an attempt for Apple to "enter the market" and "take it over." Daru also cited the "magic onboarding flow" of first-party Apple accessories as evidence of the company's anticompetitive behavior.<

    I must have missed the part about Apple announcing that AirTag will be available on Android or a PC , thus also be competing with Tile in those "markets". Until then, Tile don't have to worry about Apple taking over the "market", just maybe less than 20% of it. Unless she thinks that the whole "market" of consumers that uses products like Tile and AirTags, consist only of consumers that uses iDevices (and Macs). Until this Kirsten Daru know the "market" that Tile is in, she needs to shut up or else she might say something really stupid like ........ Apple is being anti-competitive because they have a "monopoly" in the  iOS "market".   
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 36
    dpkrohdpkroh Posts: 32member
    Everyone here claiming Apple is right, boo hoo for the others, does not understand the differences between capitalism, competition, and free markets.  They are aso poor students of 20th century American history and the incomparable prosperity of the mid 20th century, that is no more.  That prosperity only happened once the government started breaking up large companies and monopolies.  Apple, Google, FaceBook, and the like are the "Robber Barrons" of the 21st century.  Real prosperity can only return when the government does what it did post WWII. Take down and break up the robber barons to restore free markets and completion, and restore equitable (not equal but equitable) wealth distribution.

    Capitalism and competition are NOT the same same. The goal of capitalism is profit maximization. That goal is ultimately incompatible with competition.  Profit maximization, unbridled, has the ultimate goal of destroying all current and future competition, to forever protect its monopoly at all costs. 

    Equal access competition a.k.a. truly free markets are the true drivers of innovation and prosperity.  Capitalism is simultaneously the best tool to maximize productivity, and simultaneously the greatest threat to the same, when left unmanaged.

    Free markets and competition are good for everyone, except for greed maxing capitalists.  Any capitalist that has amassed enough power or wealth to bully competition, no longer sees competition and free markets as beneficial.  They see competition and free markets as a threat to their dominance. 

    The greatest expansion of wealth in American history, occurred just after WWII, when the government went after big corporations and broke them up.  Everyone won.  Wealth was spread far more evenly and equitable and more wealth was generated than when a few big corporations controlled all.

    Now we are back to a few big corporations controlling almost everything, especially in technology.  I'm always amazed at how easy it is to train the vast majority of people to act against their own self interest.  That's the most effective and insidious form of power there is.  That is the sort of control that the system has against everyone here cheering on Apple, Google, and the like, while denigrating the others.  it's just like the first line of the chorus of the song "Banditos" by "The Refreshments".   Everybody knows the world is full of "them".

















    edited April 21 muthuk_vanalingam
Sign In or Register to comment.