Senators have grilled Google and Apple in Washington over “anti-competitive” behaviour related to their app stores.
Representatives from Tile, Spotify and Match also gave evidence, accusing the two tech firms of charging exorbitant fees and copying their ideas.
Both Apple and Google’s app stores charge fees of up to 30% for in-app purchases.
The two companies said the fees were justified to provide security for users.
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel focussed on claims that Apple’s App Store and Google’s Google Play are anti-competitive.
Senator Amy Klobuchar said that Apple’s App Store was a “literal monopoly”.
She said both stores “exclude or suppress apps that compete with their own products” and “charge excessive fees that affect competition in the app store economy”.
Google Play and the App Store are where the vast majority of apps worldwide are downloaded.
Developers claim that because of a lack of competition Apple and Google can charge extortionate rates.
There were also claims that Apple used its App Store to unfairly compete with rivals.
The hearing came a day after Apple launched its new product: AirTags. These can be attached to items like car keys to help users find them.
The product looks very similar to something already on the market – Tile.
Tile’s General Counsel Kirsten Daru said “We welcome competition but it has to be fair competition and Apple’s idea of competing is patently unfair.”
She also accused Apple of preventing Tile from using the technology behind Apple’s Find My function, giving AirTags an unfair advantage.
Apple said the product was different. “We didn’t copy Tile’s product… It’s extremely different to anything else on the market,” said Apple’s Chief Compliance Officer, Kyle Andeer.
Spotify also accused Apple of using its App Store to charge unfair rates – something Spotify’s Head of Global Affairs, Horacio Gutierrez, described as an “Apple Tax”.
He also said that Apple directly competed with Spotify with Apple Music, and the in-app charges had made Spotify less competitive.
“They are undercutting us on price,” he said.
He also criticised Apple for having rules that meant they were unable to tell customers that the service was cheaper if it was bought away from the App Store.
Apple said that Spotify had “been incredibly aggressive when it comes to dealing with artists and creators, and driving a hard bargain”.
Mr Andeer said that “less than 1% of Spotify users pay a commission to Apple”.
Match, which owns Tinder, also criticised Apple and Google for the charges it had to pay.
sdadadadadadadadadadadasdasdasdsadsadasdasdasjdjasjd j jsjjsjsjsjssj s js sjsjs jsj sj sj sjs js sjsjs jsjs js s s jsj sjs js js sj sj sj sj sj sjsj sjs js sjsjs sj sjs d asdsad as dsad s da da da dsa da dasd a das daa dsa das dasd asd asd asd asd asd ad as dasd aafafa
s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s sm s sk fa fksaf kaf kasfksa fksa fkas fk sadka dka d kakdad akd ak dkas dka d akd ak dka dka dka dka dk akd ak da dkad akd aksd kadkad akd akd aks dkas dkas dka dkas dkas dka dk adk askd ask daks dkas dkas dkas dksa dkas dka dka dka dka ak dka
s dkadk akd akd kas dka dk asdk asdk askd ask dak dak dak dka dka dka dk adk askd askd ask dask dask dask dkas dkas dkas dkas dkas dak dak dak dask dsak