Apple and Google to be on the Senates hot seat this week over their uncompetitive app stores
Apple and Google to be on the Senates hot seat this week over their uncompetitive app stores


With Apple and Google has big goals on its back because of its guidelines for the App Store and the Google Play Store. Congress will begin this Wednesday with hearings on the app store fronts of both companies. According to Bloomberg, Google will be represented by Wilson White, senior director of government affairs and public order, while Kyle Andeer, Apple’s chief compliance officer, will also be in attendance.

Apple and Google will stand before a Senate judicial committee on Wednesday over guidelines for the App Store.

The hearing takes place in the Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust Law and Consumer Rights of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The panel examines whether Apple and Google are uncompetitive when it comes to consumers who buy apps and developers who create them. The committee plans to inform Horacio Gutierrez, Kirsten Daru and Jared Sine, top lawyers of the music streamer Spotify, about the tracking app Tile and the dating app Match Group.

Both Google and Apple are saving up to 30% on in-app purchases, forcing developers to use the technology giant’s in-app payment platforms or to have their apps removed from both stores. This is the big problem between Fortnite developer Epic Games, Apple and Google. When Epic developed its own platform for consumers to use to pay for the currency used in Fortnite, players were able to save money on purchases, but Apple and Google denied their 30% cut. Since this violated the rules created by both technology companies, Apple and Google threw Fortnite out of the App Store and Play Store, respectively.

Spotify is sure to land some blows on Apple’s app store while giving evidence. The largest music streaming app in the world has often complained about the so-called Apple tax of 30%. Movie and TV show streamer Netflix has also complained about the cut Apple is taking from developers.

Google argues that app stores shouldn’t be placed in the same category as Apple. This is because Google allows Android users to download apps from third-party app stores from the site, which theoretically allows Android users to find a better price for an app. Apple doesn’t allow iPhone users to sideload apps, which gives Apple better control over app pricing.

In a class action lawsuit, iPhone users are suing Apple, claiming that their sideloading policy forces them to pay more for apps than they would otherwise. In May 2019 The Supreme Court ruled by 5-4 votes that the lawsuit against Apple can continue and that iOS users buy their apps directly from Apple to give the latter control over pricing. The court denied Apple’s testimony that it only hosts apps for sale in the App Store and has no control over their pricing.

While Google allows Android to sideload apps from third-party stores, phone manufacturers who want to use the popular Google-licensed version of Android are forced to install the Google Play Store, the Chrome browser, and just one search engine (Google Search). The EU has already fined Google $ 4.8 billion for asking for it, forcing them to give users the names of other search engines and browsers that Android users can choose from.

The senior senator on the committee is former Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar, while the aforementioned Senator Lee is the top Republican. When Apple first stated that it would not attend the hearing, the two sent a letter to the Apple CEO demanding that the company send someone to represent the company. Apple has given in to legislative demands.

In the letter to Cook, Klobuchar and Lee wrote, “Apple’s power over the cost, distribution, and availability of mobile applications on Apple devices, used by millions of consumers, creates serious competition issues that the subcommittee considered Consumers and the app of interest are developers. Full and fair consideration of these questions in front of the subcommittee requires Apple’s participation. “

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