What you need to know
- The new chair of the Senate Antitrust Committee has Apple's App Store in her sights.
- Amy Klobuchar reportedly plans to hold multiple tech-related antitrust hearings.
- There will be standalone hearings on news publishing and, of course, App Store policies.
A new report indicates that the chair of the Senate Antitrust Committee Amy Klobuchar plans to hold multiple antitrust hearings on tech and app store policies, including Apple's own App Store.
From CNN's Brian Fung:
Sen. Amy Klobuchar plans to hold multiple tech-related antitrust subcommittee hearings, including standalone hearings on app store policies and news publishing, she tells me.
Other hearings will also cover consolidation in agriculture, cable, transportation, she says.
As Fung notes, the first hearing will take place today, Thursday, March 11, where Klobuchar will start "building momentum". She says they plan to go through "industry by industry" to establish what has happened in each. The Senator has previously emphasized that antitrust issues do not only pertain to one industry. However, she has also stated she is "particularly interested" in competition issues regarding Apple and Google's mobile app stores.
Fung says that Klobuchar for now has not asked any big tech CEOs to testify, reportedly stating she thinks those hearings are more about theater than substance.
Apple is embroiled in antitrust disputes both at home and abroad. The EU is finalizing a charge sheet against the company after a complaint was filed by music streaming rival Spotify. Elsewhere, many states are trying to take matters into their own hands by filing more local legislation, a recent Arizona bill that would force Apple and Google to let app developers use their own payment processing software for transactions was narrowly passed last week. The main event, Apple's massive legal battle with Epic Games, is expected to call for trial in May.