Google, Apple Market Power Scares App Makers
Some app makers reveal that they fear how much power Apple and Google have when it comes to distribution and over their business.
Match Group Chief Legal Officer Jared Sine said during a hearing that they are all afraid, according to a CNBC report.
Match Group owns dating site Tinder. Aside from them, representatives from Apple and Google are also present during the hearing.
Tile faces new competition from Apple's AirTag technology and streaming music service Spotify.
Lawmakers are working on updates to the antitrust laws that could better account for the power a few tech moguls have over many digital markets.
An executive from Spotify and Match Group said that Google and Apple have used their dominating presence in the app platform space to charge commissions as high as 30 percent of app developers' total sales.
The hearing was led by U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee.
Klobuchar said that they are not angry about success, adding that they just want to ensure that capitalism keeps going in a strong way.
"This situation, to me, doesn't seem like that's happening," Klobuchar was quoted in a Forbes report.
Apple's chief compliance officer and vice president of corporate law, Kyle Andeer, and Google's senior director of public policy and government relations, Wilson White, both argued how their platforms have helped developers reach billions of customers worldwide.
Andeer said that creating software was difficult and often expensive when they introduced the App Store in 2008.
Andeer also noted that the App Store is not just a store, but also a studio containing canvases and brushes and paints that artists need to create their work.
Meanwhile, White said that they designed Android and Google Play with freedom, openness, and accessibility in mind.
App developers are worried that Apple's own rival products incentivized it to make unfavorable decisions on them.
Spotify allows customers to upgrade only outside of its iOS app to avoid Apple's 15 percent to 30 percent commission fee on digital services,
In addition, Apple does not let the app maker discuss upgrades with customers through the app. Users have to go through a web browser on a PC or another method.
Meanwhile, representatives from Apple and Google both told lawmakers that their fees for developers are meant to be allocated to distributing apps through their platforms.
The representatives also said that it is for securing them properly.
App makers also complained about Apple's unclear app store rules and delay the launch of key features, according to a World News Era report.
Lee and Andeer discussed how complex Apple's App Store rules can be.
This was backed by Sine, saying Tinder had tried to submit a version of its app with a feature seeking to protect its LGBTQ+ users by notifying them when they were in a country where they could be a risk of exposing their sexuality.
Sine said it took two months for Apple to sort out the issue.
The app makers highlighted their dependence on the app stores because of their unprecedented access to consumers. However, they also noted that it is not a symbiotic relationship.
"We are not successful because of what Apple has done, we have been successful despite Apple's interference," Spotify Chief Legal Officer Horacio Gutierrez was quoted.
WATCH: Apple Store and Google Play Store owners testify before Congress (full hearing) - from CNET Highlights
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