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Earlier last month, Spotify, Tile, and Match (owner of Tinder), testified at an app store antitrust hearing spearheaded by the U.S. Senate. During the hearing, Spotify called Apple's App Store "an abusive power grab," while Tile said Apple uses its platform to "unfairly limit competition for its products."
Now, in response to their testimonies, Apple's vice president and chief compliance officer, Kyle Andeer, has sent U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who's overseeing the hearings, a letter signaling out Apple's response. In the letter, Apple says that Spotify, Tile, and Tinder are some of the "largest and most successful [developers] on the App Store" and that their testimonies focused "more on grievances related to business disputes with Apple than on competition concerns with the App Store."
Spotify has been one of the most vocal critics of the App Store and has long called into question Apple's in-app purchasing system that gives it a 30% commission on all purchases made. Apple has called its own system both secure and safe for users and developers, and Spotify aims to challenge that declaration. During the hearing, Spotify stated that Apple should allow third-party payment methods on the store if it truly believes that its own system is "superior."
If Apple is convinced that their payment system is that superior, that it really should command a 30% fee, they should allow for competition and let the market determine that. Let supply and demand determine what the right fee is, but they haven't done that.
Apple is pushing back, saying that Spotify's assertion that its own in-app purchasing system hasn't faced competition is incorrect and that it "meets or beats" the "intense competition."
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