Tech giants Apple and Google faced a battery of accusations from prominent app developers, including Spotify and Tile, who alleged that the large tech platforms have abused their dominance and harmed competition.
In a lengthy Senate hearing, the app makers said Apple and Google’s rules surrounding in-app payments and app updates allow the tech giants to choke off rival services, and that they engage in retaliation when app developers refuse to comply, reports CNN.
The occasionally tense showdown highlighted how antitrust scrutiny of Apple is ramping up after more than a year of similar focus on its peers such as Amazon, Facebook and Google.
And US lawmakers were clear that the hearing would serve as a springboard for legislation to rein in large tech platforms, the report said.
Much of the hearing zeroed in on Apple’s treatment of app makers, largely because of Apple’s closed ecosystem that prohibits the installation of iOS apps from anywhere but the Apple app store.
This week, Apple introduced a new product known as the AirTag, a small device that can be used to locate missing items.
Tile, which makes a competing product, accused Apple of giving AirTag an unfair home-court advantage by not allowing Tile devices to use the same advanced, ultra-wideband frequencies to communicate with iPhones that AirTag uses, the report said.
Apple chief compliance officer Kyle Andeer testified that AirTag is a “very different product” and that the company is excited to compete in that market.
Other witnesses blasted Apple’s practice of charging providers of digital goods and services a 30 per cent commission on in-app transactions.
Apple has argued its fees go toward making sure the iOS ecosystem is secure and trustworthy for users.