Apple, Google Face Antitrust Charges At Senate Hearing: WSJ

  • Legislators and mobile app companies targeted Apple Inc AAPL and Alphabet Inc’s GOOG GOOGL Google in an escalated antitrust hearing on Wednesday focused on their undue influence over their smartphone ecosystems, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • Most of Google’s antitrust lawsuits were focused on its search and advertising businesses.
  • The hearing brought Apple and Google against music streaming service Spotify Technology SA SPOT, online dating service provider Match Group Inc MTCH, and tracking-device maker Tile Inc.
  • “Apple abuses its dominant position as a gatekeeper to insulate itself from competition and disadvantage rival services such as Spotify,” Spotify’s CLO alleged. Tile leveled similar charges against Apple, including the launch of a competing product.
  • Apple faced most of the criticisms, while Google faced flak over the payment processing commissions charged by it and Apple.
  • Apple and Google executives justified the commissions by emphasizing the gravity of high standards for their app stores and security.
  • Apple’s tracking products were significantly different from Tile’s, according to Apple’s Chief Compliance Officer. The officer also refuted the anticompetitive practices allegations.
  • Google justified the commissions by emphasizing Android’s role in raising the accessibility of computing to underserved communities. The commission structure supported entry and innovation, added Google.
  • The Senate had to urge Apple to comply with their request citing Apple’s influencing power on the cost, supply, and availability of mobile applications on Apple devices after Apple declined to testify at their antitrust hearing.
  • The hearing could play a major role in the restraint of the tech dominance, lawmakers said.
  • Price action: AAPL shares traded lower by 0.41% at $132.95 on the last check Thursday.
Posted In: U.S. SenateWall Street JournalNewsTechMedia