Tile To Testify Against Apple In Senate Antitrust Probe Today Over Newly-Launched AirTags

Apple Inc’s AAPL iPhone accessory AirTag launch on Tuesday drew some sharp bashing from lost-item-finder rival and critic Tile, according to TechCrunch.

What Happened: The California-based startup is scheduled to testify on Wednesday’s Senate App Store antitrust hearing. It plans to ask Congress to look closely at Apple’s business practices and specifically its foray into the lost item tracking category. 

Tile allows customers with its Bluetooth-powered keychain dongles to find their lost items. It also lets users help locate someone else’s Tile, in case that lost item was out of Bluetooth range of its owner.  

Apple is reproducing these capabilities with AirTag while also leveraging its first-party “Find My” app’s larger install base to help find missing items. This comes as a significant competition to Tile in addition to the fact that it will also end up sharing a portion of its subscription revenues from in-app purchases with Apple due to the App Store policies.  

See Also: Why Analyst Sees AirTags As A $10B Opportunity For Apple

Apple has opened up access to its “Find My” app to third parties, seen as a move to avoid any anti-competitive claims. It also partnered with a Tile competitor, the Chipolo ONE Spot, to serve as proof that it’s giving other lost item finders that compete with AirTag equal footing on its iPhone platform, TechCrunch noted.

Tile however does not want to give up its direct relationship with its customers via its own iOS app to instead support Apple’s “Find My” users.

Why It Matters: Tile had previously testified before Congress about Apple’s alleged anti-competitive behavior in 2020. It will, on Wednesday, appear alongside other Apple critics that include Match and Spotify Technology SA SPOT.  

The companies are arguing against Apple’s in-app commissions, the so-called “Apple tax,” which the Cupertino-based recently reduced for smaller businesses. They also want a more direct relationship with customers, not one where Apple is the middleman.

Tile and Spotify don’t think it’s fair that they’re paying money to Apple when the iPhone maker directly competes with their business through its own first-party products.

Price Action: Shares of Apple closed 1.28% lower at $133.11 on Tuesday.

Read Next: Apple And Facebook Now Clash Over Document Requests In Epic Legal Battle

Photo: Courtesy of Apple

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