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Apple, along with rival tech giants Google and Amazon, has been on the business end of a stern telling off from a Massachusetts senator who believes that the company abuses its size to “lock out” the competition.
Senator Elizabeth Warren made the judgment as part of a speech made in Washington this week. Warren argued that while all three companies “have created disruptive technologies that changed the world” and deserve their success, it’s important for them not to abuse their power to stifle the little guy. “The opportunity to compete must remain open for new entrants and smaller competitors.”
Specifically, Warren seemed to be alluding to the benefit Apple Music has over its competitors for those with iPhones and iPads. Referring to the 30% cut taken on revenue from all App Store subscriptions, she noted that Apple “has placed conditions on its rivals that make it difficult for them to offer competitive streaming services.” Apple declined to comment, but Jonathan Prince from Spotify was happy to join in, claiming that Apple “want to have their cake and eat everyone else’s, too:”
“Apple has long used its control of iOS to squash competition in music, driving up the prices of its competitors, inappropriately forbidding us from telling our customers about lower prices, and giving itself unfair advantages across its platform through everything from the lock screen to Siri.”
Whether or not Apple, Google and Amazon will take heed of this speech is anyone’s guess, but already Apple is taking its first steps to improve the App Store experience for developers and users alike. There’s nothing wrong with dominating a market, but hopefully Apple can find a fairer way to compete without blocking out its rivals.