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U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who is spearheading an antitrust hearing on competition in App Stores, today called Apple's AirTags release "timely" because it is the type of conduct that she plans to examine, reports Reuters.

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"It's timely given that this is the type of conduct that we'll be talking about at the hearing," she said, while also mentioning that criticisms of the App Store and Play Store have not received enough attention.

The "Antitrust Applied: Examining Competition in App Stores" hearing takes place today to examine App Stores and mobile competition. Executives from Apple, Google, Tile, Spotify, and Match Group will be participating. Apple initially did not plan to send anyone to attend, but agreed to provide Chief Compliance Officer Kyle Andeer after senators complained.

Tile General Counsel Kirsten Daru will also be attending, and yesterday, Tile said that it intends to bring up the AirTags launch. Tile CEO CJ Prober said that the company is "skeptical" about Apple's aims with AirTags, given its "history of using platform advantage to unfairly limit competition."
We welcome competition, as long as it is fair competition. Unfortunately, given Apple's well-documented history of using its platform advantage to unfairly limit competition for its products, we're skeptical. And given our prior history with Apple, we think it is entirely appropriate for Congress to take a closer look at Apple's business practices specific to its entry into this category. We welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues further in front of Congress tomorrow.
Tile has known about Apple's work on the AirTag for some time now and has brought it up in prior legal proceedings as it is unhappy to have Apple as competition in the item tracking space. To avoid antitrust complaints, Apple waited to launch AirTags until it had already debuted the Find My Network accessory program, which allows third-party Bluetooth devices like item trackers to integrate into the Find My app alongside AirTags.

The Find My network is open to Tile, but it does require item trackers to work exclusively with Find My, and Tile already has an established item tracking app and its own network that uses smartphones for crowdsourced tracking purposes.

Apple in a statement said that it has worked to build a platform that enables third-party developers to thrive.
"We have always embraced competition as the best way to drive great experiences for our customers, and we have worked hard to build a platform in iOS that enables third-party developers to thrive," Apple said in a statement.
Other companies that have long had competitive issues with App Store, such as Spotify and Match will participate, and will complain about the restrictive rules employed by Apple and Google and the App Store fees.

With the App Store competition hearing kicking off today, Fight for the Future launched an "Abolish the App Store" initiative that calls on people to sign a petition to demand that Congress "end the App Store monopoly."

Fight the Future believes that iOS should work like other "general purpose" computing systems, giving users the freedom to install software directly onto their devices without Apple's permission.

Article Link: U.S. Senator Calls AirTags Release 'Timely' as App Store Antitrust Hearing Kicks Off
 

spiderman0616

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2010
5,074
6,423
I still really don't understand the logic. When the competition complains you have to talk to Congress? Did Google have to do that when they made Android smartphones? They weren't first--neither was Apple for that matter. Is this to say that since Blackberry made the first truly mainstream smartphone that nobody else is allowed to make one? Or since Samsung made their smartwatch before Apple that Apple isn't allowed to have the Apple Watch on the market?

What's the point? This is such a gigantic waste of time and resources. Tile is mad because they know that even if Apple's original offering is not as good as Tile's current lineup (I think version 1 will be better out the gate, honestly) the 2nd, 3rd, 4th iterations most certainly will be higher quality, easier to use, and Apple's solution ALREADY doesn't require me to buy new AirTags every single year like Tile's does. Nor does it require me to pay a yearly subscription for the privelege. So which company is really extorting its users here? Apple who charges $29 per AirTag with no additional recurring fees other than batteries that the user can replace, or Tile who makes you buy all new hardware every single year? Why isn't TILE talking to Congress too?
 

Blackstick

macrumors 6502a
Aug 11, 2014
966
4,465
OH
Nothing of consequence happened to Microsoft in the 1990s when they were the giant, nothing will happen to Apple today. As usual, the correct politicians are bought and paid for.

Tile isn't the first (and won't be the last) company to get Sherlocked.
 

jonblatho

macrumors 68020
Jan 20, 2014
2,327
5,763
Oklahoma
Nothing of consequence happened to Microsoft in the 1990s when they were the giant, nothing will happen to Apple today. As usual, the correct politicians are bought and paid for.
If a company/industry has political favor on one or both sides, sure.

Which side’s gonna go to bat for Big Tech?
 
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GadgetBen

macrumors 68000
Jul 8, 2015
1,871
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Timely?

Shows just how dumb government officials can be.

Apple launches the software support first to allow third party access, before launching its own products afterwards.

Apple could have launched AirTags first (and beaten Samsung) when we first saw the Tag design last year and software leak.

Instead, they opted to open the software first and invite other companies in.

In normal terms, this is a crazy business practice in a Capitalist market.
 

Red Oak

macrumors 6502
Jun 14, 2011
383
2,228
How, exactly, is Apple entering the device tracking business going to "unfairly limit competition"? How is Apple entering this market going to be a negative for consumers?

AirTags are going to work exactly like Tile on an open platform. Anyone can sell their own trackers and and make them compatible with Find My
 

paulovsouza

macrumors regular
Oct 3, 2012
193
269
I don’t understand, nothing was stopping Tile from creating an app, and innovating, to the level that Find My and AirTags have. Apple has opened doors, and help every business listed make millions. If they need more integration they’re welcome to create their own devices.
 

bluespark

macrumors 68030
Jul 11, 2009
2,891
3,680
Chicago
I still really don't understand the logic. When the competition complains you have to talk to Congress? Did Google have to do that when they made Android smartphones? They weren't first--neither was Apple for that matter. Is this to say that since Blackberry made the first truly mainstream smartphone that nobody else is allowed to make one? Or since Samsung made their smartwatch before Apple that Apple isn't allowed to have the Apple Watch on the market?

What's the point? This is such a gigantic waste of time and resources. Tile is mad because they know that even if Apple's original offering is not as good as Tile's current lineup (I think version 1 will be better out the gate, honestly) the 2nd, 3rd, 4th iterations most certainly will be higher quality, easier to use, and Apple's solution ALREADY doesn't require me to buy new AirTags every single year like Tile's does. Nor does it require me to pay a yearly subscription for the privelege. So which company is really extorting its users here? Apple who charges $29 per AirTag with no additional recurring fees other than batteries that the user can replace, or Tile who makes you buy all new hardware every single year? Why isn't TILE talking to Congress too?
This was already scheduled. And while I think Apple's on solid ground with AirTags/FindMy, the issue is anticompetitive activities by large tech companies generally, and it's certainly relevant to discuss these products among others when considering how those lines might be drawn.
 

nutmac

macrumors 603
Mar 30, 2004
5,726
6,344
I am glad Biden didn't pick Amy for the VP ticket.

Here's another politician who didn't do any homework (e.g., Find My Network is opened to everyone and was launched before AirTags), spewing sound bites as if they mean something.

Tile can complain all they want, but as a former customer with 6 Tile products, they dug their own graves with subpar designs, slow pace of innovations, and subscription that doesn't add much value.
 

bluespark

macrumors 68030
Jul 11, 2009
2,891
3,680
Chicago
Timely?

Shows just how dumb government officials can be.

Apple launches the software support first to allow third party access, before launching its own products afterwards.

Apple could have launched AirTags first (and beaten Samsung) when we first saw the Tag design last year and software leak.

Instead, they opted to open the software first and invite other companies in.

In normal terms, this is a crazy business practice in a Capitalist market.
The discussion is timely given the nature of the hearing. I'm not a huge Klobuchar fan, but let's not read too much into this.
 

diamornte

macrumors 6502
Apr 27, 2009
375
315
The Find My network is open to anybody. If Tile doesn’t want to use it, it’s not Apple fault and it is not unfair competition
People have no sense of empathy or know what it is anymore. If you were a small third party app/company with a product and that product ended up being reborn as a new shiny Apple product everyone MUST have, you would have the opposite opinion of what you state here.
 
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