What you need to know
- Apple's head of compliance has written a strong letter to a Senate subcommittee on competition.
- In the letter, Apple's Kyle Andeer blasted some of the claims made by Spotify, Tile, and Match/Tinder regarding its App Store.
- The letter says that the problems these companies have are business disputes, not competition concerns and that their witnesses represent companies that have thrived thanks to Apple's ecosystem.
Apple has slammed the claims of Tile, Spotify, and Match in a letter sent to a Senate subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights.
Shared by 9to5Mac, the letter is from Apple's Chief Compliance Officer Kyle Andeer who states:
Andeer testified at a hearing on the matter in April, and this letter is a follow-up to that testimony.
In the letter, Andeer addresses each company in turn and their grievances. Andeer states that Spotify pays commission to Apple on less than one percent of its premium subscribers and that this rate of commission is just 15%. Apple also states its rate of competition "meets or beats" competitive competition elsewhere. The letter also states that "Apple consistently has, since the launch of the App Store, distinguished between (a) digital goods/services and (b) physical goods/services, a distinction that applies equally to all developers and reflects the added value enjoyed by sellers of digital goods/services."
Addressing one key issue of the Epic Games vs Apple antitrust trial, the fact that developers aren't allowed to tell customers they can buy their goods elsewhere (possibly at a cheaper price), Apple states:
Addressing Match and Tinder, Andeer stated that customers have lots of choices for accessing digital content including the open internet, that its commission "reflects the value of the powerful technology platform, tools, software, curated marketplace, and intellectual property that allows developers to create and distribute apps" and that Apple puts "enormous effort" into communications with developers to help them get their apps into the App Store.
Finally, Andeer addressed the complaints of Tile, whose grievances have been amplified in recent weeks with the release of Apple's own AirTag tracking device, which competes directly with Tile's own trackers, some of the best Bluetooth trackers around.
The letter states that Apple believes privacy is a fundamental human right, that it makes features, functionalities, and APIs available to third parties for their own development, and that Apple did not have information about Tile's sales that would give it an advantage. In fact, the letter states "Years ago, Apple had some information about how Tile products sold in Apple's retail store. It did not sell well."
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9