It is expected that a congressional jury will hold a hearing within a week on the competition in the sector of tech. The hearing will be conducted by the subcommittee of the House antitrust and it will be led by Representative David Cicilline (D-RI). But lawmakers fear that companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon have certain policies that are not good for consumers as well as the economy and competition. The executives of the four companies will put through test next week.
Executives who will appear at the hearing include:
- Adam Cohen – The director of the economic policy of Google.
- Nate Sutton – Associate General Counsel of Amazon.
- Matt Perault – Head of global policy development of Facebook.
- Kyle Andeer – Compliance director of Apple.
The four are currently being investigated for several antitrust cases. For example, Apple is subjected to an investigation by the European Union due to the 30% reduction received by app developers who use the app store to recover subscriptions. A collective lawsuit in the US states that Apple’s so-called 30% tax is causing prices to be artificially high for apps that are not free to download in the iOS app store. And Spotify complained about the tax fee by Apple for the Competition Commission of EU; Unlike Android, the iOS by Apple does not allow users to download apps from third-party stores. This makes Apple shares uncompetitive and gives them the monopoly in the business of selling iOS apps according to the cause of collective action and Spotify.
According to Apple, Spotify numbers are not in tune. The revenue cut of Apple subscriptions is reduced to 15% after the first year. The company also states that only members who have passed the Spotify level of free service payment 2014-2016 have had access to the app of Apple payment system (IAP).
Spotify no longer allowed its iOS subscribers to pay through the App Store after 2016. Apple says it is taking a 15% cut in monthly subscription payments only Spotify 880,000 members. It is claimed by Spotify that Apple has diverted 30% of its paid subscribers every month. It is clear that someone is lying here.
The Problems Of Google and Facebook Are Way More Serious
According to McNamee, Facebook and Google have more serious problems. He said that researchers looking for ways to force Google and Facebook to change the way they do business. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fines Facebook with up to $5 billion for violating a consent decree signed in 2011 with the agency. The agreement prevented Facebook from using subscribers’ personal data without their explicit consent. But this agreement was broken when 87 million users obtained their personal data and sold it to Cambridge Analytica without their permission.
Google’s antitrust issues revolve around its demand that phone manufacturers install Google Search and the Chrome browser on phones to receive a license for the Google Play version of Android services. This is the open-source OS version that includes popular app by Google, Android updates and Google Play Store. The European Union has already fined Google with the equivalent of $5 billion last year, and Android users in the country have shown a page that allows them to choose between search engines and competing browsers.
Some lawmakers have recently talked about the rupture of Facebook and some other big tech companies. McNamee states that he would like to see any rupture managed in the same way the US handled the dissolution of AT&T in 1984. The company’s patents have been placed in the public domain and their networks have been separated to create new competitors.
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