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As part of an ongoing probe of competition in digital markets that involves Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee this week sent a letter to each company demanding to know whether their CEOs will testify in hearings set to take place in July, reports Axios.

app-store-ios-13.jpg

The antitrust investigators want to know by Sunday whether Apple, Google parent company Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook will have their CEOs attend the hearings voluntarily. They're also seeking a number of materials related to other competition probes and internal communications, with the letters asking questions "on issues related to possible competitive harms."

According to Axios, the letters suggest the Judiciary Committee could send out subpoenas to force testimony and document production if the companies do not comply.
"These are documents that are essential to complete our ongoing, bipartisan investigation of the digital marketplace," antitrust subcommittee chairman David Cicilline said in a statement. "This is the appropriate process to secure their production."
The United States Department of Justice last July launched a broad antitrust review into whether major technology companies are unlawfully stifling competition.

In September 2019, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook requesting details on documents and communications related to the App Store, product repairs, and seller agreements with Amazon.

Much of the focus was on Apple's App Store policies, with questions about the removal of parental control apps from the App Store, how search result rankings are determined, how Apple's in-app purchase mechanism works, whether apps are permitted to include in-app links to non-Apple payment systems, policies surrounding setting non-Apple apps as default, and more.

Later that year, investigators began questioning third-party app makers, include those who make parental control apps that were impacted by the release of Apple's Screen Time feature and new App Store restrictions on apps abusing Mobile Device Management.

Apple has been accused of anticompetitive business practices when it comes to the App Store, with some developers and companies claiming that Apple's own apps, features, and services have a significant advantage over third-party apps. Spotify, for example, has complained that Apple Music has a distinct advantage because Spotify has to pay Apple a portion of its subscription fees.

With the investigation, U.S. House Judiciary Committee is aiming to produce a report on the findings from the probe that has recommendations for updating antitrust laws.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: U.S. House Committee Wants Tim Cook to Testify in App Store Antitrust Probe in July
 

justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
11,579
8,263
I'm a rolling stone.
As part of an ongoing probe of competition in digital markets that involves Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee this week sent a letter to each company demanding to know whether their CEOs will testify in hearings set to take place in July, reports Axios.


The antitrust investigators want to know by Sunday whether Apple, Google parent company Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook will have their CEOs attend the hearings voluntarily. They're also seeking a number of materials related to other competition probes and internal communications, with the letters asking questions "on issues related to possible competitive harms."

According to Axios, the letters suggest the Judiciary Committee could send out subpoenas to force testimony and document production if the companies do not comply.The United States Department of Justice last July launched a broad antitrust review into whether major technology companies are unlawfully stifling competition.

In September 2019, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook requesting details on documents and communications related to the App Store, product repairs, and seller agreements with Amazon.

Much of the focus was on Apple's App Store policies, with questions about the removal of parental control apps from the App Store, how search result rankings are determined, how Apple's in-app purchase mechanism works, whether apps are permitted to include in-app links to non-Apple payment systems, policies surrounding setting non-Apple apps as default, and more.


Later that year, investigators began questioning third-party app makers, include those who make parental control apps that were impacted by the release of Apple's Screen Time feature and new App Store restrictions on apps abusing Mobile Device Management.

Apple has been accused of anticompetitive business practices when it comes to the App Store, with some developers and companies claiming that Apple's own apps, features, and services have a significant advantage over third-party apps. Spotify, for example, has complained that Apple Music has a distinct advantage because Spotify has to pay Apple a portion of its subscription fees.

With the investigation, U.S. House Judiciary Committee is aiming to produce a report on the findings from the probe that has recommendations for updating antitrust laws.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: U.S. House Committee Wants Tim Cook to Testify in App Store Antitrust Probe in July


You might start of explaining what this is all about right from the beginning, not until the 4th paragraph (And A picture and quote) it becomes clear what this is about.

Or use a different Header.
 
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MauiPa

macrumors 68000
Apr 18, 2018
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" Spotify, for example, has complained that Apple Music has a distinct advantage because Spotify has to pay Apple a portion of its subscription fees." Spotify whining again. they have as many paid subscribers as everyone else put together, most people get a subscription outside of the App Store anyway, and on iOS, they offer their crappy service which comes in compressed, has to be decompressed and then recompressed to AAC - because (poor babies, they aren't large enough to stream in a better format, sheesh!). If they were tiny, I could see it. But the industry dominant player? Makes no sense
 
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4jasontv

Suspended
Jul 31, 2011
4,072
4,437
Apple has been accused of anticompetitive business practices when it comes to the App Store, with some developers and companies claiming that Apple's own apps, features, and services have a significant advantage over third-party apps.

As they should be. When I search for a Mail app Apple Mail better be the first one that always pops up.
 
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JGIGS

macrumors 65816
Jan 1, 2008
1,417
1,315
CANADA!
" Spotify, for example, has complained that Apple Music has a distinct advantage because Spotify has to pay Apple a portion of its subscription fees." Spotify whining again. they have as many paid subscribers as everyone else put together, most people get a subscription outside of the App Store anyway, and on iOS, they offer their crappy service which comes in compressed, has to be decompressed and then recompressed to AAC - because (poor babies, they aren't large enough to stream in a better format, sheesh!). If they were tiny, I could see it. But the industry dominant player? Makes no sense

To be fair Spotify still needs to pay the artists so Apple also getting a chunk of that revenue as well definitely affects their bottom line.
 
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TechieGeek

macrumors regular
Mar 12, 2012
212
417
Anti-competitive policies ultimately hurt the consumer, remember that next time you defend a giant corporation. Competition drives innovation, and preventing competition (i.e., closing your platform so that there’s only one App Store, then promoting your own apps above others in the App Store) is harmful to consumers.

Even us iOS users would benefit from increased competition from third party apps. It would force Apple to innovate.

Imagine how much better Siri could be if people on iPhone had the option to set google assistant as their default voice assistant. Applewood feel immense pressure and might have immensely improved Siri
 
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az431

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Sep 13, 2008
2,131
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Portland, OR
pretty lame dude, that is because the app name is mail and you searched for mail. Try a few others 1) spreadsheets, word processors, 3) time management 4) basically anything where the apple app name is not the search term

I think that one flew right over your head.
 
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az431

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Sep 13, 2008
2,131
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Portland, OR
Seems like Apple is always involved in anti-trust laws - cook is worse than Jobs and at least he won most if not all the anti-trust lawsuits.

Two lawsuits in 45 years is not "always." That would be like me saying you always spell incorrectly. I'm sure there's been one forum post that you nailed.

And just FYI, Jobs did not "win" any antitrust lawsuits, whatever that means.
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Anti-competitive policies ultimately hurt the consumer, remember that next time you defend a giant corporation. Competition drives innovation, and preventing competition (i.e., closing your platform so that there’s only one App Store, then promoting your own apps above others in the App Store) is harmful to consumers.

Even us iOS users would benefit from increased competition from third party apps. It would force Apple to innovate.

Imagine how much better Siri could be if people on iPhone had the option to set google assistant as their default voice assistant. Applewood feel immense pressure and might have immensely improved Siri

ALL businesses enact policies and practices that are anti-competitive. I'm not aware of any company that runs their business to make life easier for their competitors.

That is why there is no such thing as a prohibition on anti-competitive practices. The law regulates anti-competitive practices, and prohibits conduct such as bid rigging and price fixing. Monopolies that arise out of a purely competitive market and vertical-price controls are both anti-competitive, but are in fact, 100% legal.

Just because a policy is anti-competitive does not mean it hurts the consumer. In fact, that's why only certain practices are illegal.

The App Store is indeed a monopoly, but it is not an illegal monopoly, and it most certainly does not hurt consumers. If you think Spotify for iOS would be cheaper if it was offered on a third-party app store, then you don't have a clue.
 
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ani4ani

macrumors 68000
May 4, 2012
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UK
Two lawsuits in 45 years is not "always." That would be like me saying you always spell incorrectly. I'm sure there's been one forum post that you nailed.

And just FYI, Jobs did not "win" any antitrust lawsuits, whatever that means.

I think you misspelt dozens above
 
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jinnj

macrumors 6502
Dec 9, 2011
458
330
Looking forward to app defaults in iOS 14 hopefully!
This concerns none of that and is not seen as an issue by either side (well if Spotify wins then they will go for the default apps setting next)
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" Spotify, for example, has complained that Apple Music has a distinct advantage because Spotify has to pay Apple a portion of its subscription fees." Spotify whining again. they have as many paid subscribers as everyone else put together, most people get a subscription outside of the App Store anyway, and on iOS, they offer their crappy service which comes in compressed, has to be decompressed and then recompressed to AAC - because (poor babies, they aren't large enough to stream in a better format, sheesh!). If they were tiny, I could see it. But the industry dominant player? Makes no sense
Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are playing close attention to this. Cause if Apple falls to this then why not go for the consoles as well. EA will lead that charge.
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,120
5,074
This will be like the Feds wanting a "back door" to unlocking iPhones.
Make them work! No free lunch!

Uh, what? This is like saying apps on the Mac that are downloaded outside the app store are a "back door" or that they're "free lunch".
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Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are playing close attention to this. Cause if Apple falls to this then why not go for the consoles as well. EA will lead that charge.

Unless I'm mistaken, the platforms don't take much of a cut when a publisher physically distributes the game themselves. As for digital downloads, how would that work? The Switch lacks a browser... IDK if the Xbox and Playstation have browsers or not.
 
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sinoka56

macrumors regular
Jun 13, 2013
232
324
To be really fair, customers can get a subscription to Spotify on Spotify and not pay Apple anything. Which, oh surprise surprise almost all Spotify customers do
So should Apple allow apps to use their own payment gateways in app through a webview? Apple prohibits buttons or links to any other external ways to pay.
 
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Rainshadow

macrumors 6502
Feb 16, 2017
299
700
Anti-competitive policies ultimately hurt the consumer, remember that next time you defend a giant corporation. Competition drives innovation, and preventing competition (i.e., closing your platform so that there’s only one App Store, then promoting your own apps above others in the App Store) is harmful to consumers.

Even us iOS users would benefit from increased competition from third party apps. It would force Apple to innovate.

Imagine how much better Siri could be if people on iPhone had the option to set google assistant as their default voice assistant. Applewood feel immense pressure and might have immensely improved Siri

Maybe, but there is also the chance that even Apple isn’t large enough to effectively compete to be TOP DOG in phones, mail, word processors, voice assistants, watches, speakers, wearables, tvs, Browsers, music services, etc etc etc you get my point - and would eventually decide it’s not financially feasible to maintain all categories.

That would lead to services or apps outside of the ecosystem and not designed with such tight integration that Apple enthusiasts enjoy.

look... there is competition. I can always switch to another phone and there is a plethora of android options. That’s where the competition is good. When I choose an Apple product, I choose it for the integration, not because I think EVERYTHING they do is the BEST. Just that everything they do on a whole is a better package than the rest.
 
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Tech198

macrumors P6
Mar 21, 2011
15,674
2,092
Australia, Perth
I never believe it was anti-competitive. It's only seen that way when laws change in counteries, so they have a good augment to come back to claim that.

e.g nothing changed on Apple's end globally in the U.S, but just because E.U changed their, now makes someting that was ok before 'null void" or anti-competive by the courts?


You can't say laws have changed, so now what you've always done is now deemed "anti-competive"

I reckon the only reason the U.S whats this is because they say Spotify do it
 
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ani4ani

macrumors 68000
May 4, 2012
1,645
1,481
UK
this is dumb. Spotify didn't take the billions of dollars risk of developing a platform. they just want a free ride on iOS. Apple took the risk, they deserve to have an advantage with Apple Music.

This is a straw man argument. A shop is not a shop if it has no goods in it. Apple needs the goods as much as the goods need a shop. I think Microsoft took a risk building a platform and no one was interested in selling anything in there, emphasising that the goods are way more important than the shop.

When you go shopping are you doing it to wonder at the architecture or to buy goods?

And when you go shopping, do you anticipate having to buy everything in the same shop?

If you’re in any ordinary shop and they only promote their own or only display their own wares would you be satisfied?
 
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briloronmacrumo

macrumors 6502
Jan 25, 2008
489
302
USA
Interestingly, an email request from Apple, received today, asks for my feedback and "...your experience managing, marketing and distributing apps for the App Store". The email asserts results will be confidential but I'm wondering how many developers will respond honestly. Is Apple gathering ammunition for their congressional appearance?
 
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Rainshadow

macrumors 6502
Feb 16, 2017
299
700
This is a straw man argument. A shop is not a shop if it has no goods in it. Apple needs the goods as much as the goods need a shop. I think Microsoft took a risk building a platform and no one was interested in selling anything in there, emphasising that the goods are way more important than the shop.

When you go shopping are you doing it to wonder at the architecture or to buy goods?

And when you go shopping, do you anticipate having to buy everything in the same shop?

If you’re in any ordinary shop and they only promote their own or only display their own wares would you be satisfied?

I’m remarkably confused by your arguements or metaphors.

Microsoft built a shop and no one wanted to sell there, so it’s the sellers‘ fault? No, its the fact the shop was poorly built and sellers didn’t come because of that -or buyers couldn’t find products- (and numerous other issues like Microsoft market share). Don’t blame the sellers if the shop is on a deserted corner with no infrastructure.

Onto your bullet points...

1. You don’t go to wonder at architecture, however, the design, feeling, layout, and ambiance of a store DOES draw you in and keeps you there - making you spend more money. Ask Starbucks.

2. i don’t necessarily buy everything at the same shop, but some prefer “one stop shopping” and would love it if you could Get everything in one spot.

3. Yes. If I’m in a shop - say Costco in the US - or REI - they do promote their own brands (rei heavily) - but like Apple, that’s not the only brand they promote. When Apple offers up their option first (for the few apps they have), there is often an endless line below. If I don’t like their product, guess what, there are more. Just like any shop.

I think that’s cleaner competition - all on one playing field and not some here, some there. That would be a nightmare.

i really don’t see your arguments. I actually think you make many points for the opposing view - some I hadn’t considered.
 
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