Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google will face questions by lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday amid the committee’s anti-trust investigation into allegations of anti-competitive business practices in their App marketplaces.
Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Mike Lee of Utah, the chair and ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee, are leading the panel’s inquiry into potential anti-competitive practices in Apple’s App Store and in Google Play.
Klobuchar, a Democrat, said apps represent a “humongous market” at the mercy of companies like Apple and Google. She will reportedly be asking about fees that developers must pay to the large companies like Apple and Google, as well as companies that push their own products and allegedly prevent consumers from finding out about better deals.
The hearing takes place after Apple and Google blocked the free-speech social media Parler from its app stores. Earlier this week, Apple announced that it will allow Parler back on its platform, saying that the social media network has made the appropriate changes needed to comply with Apple’s guidelines.
Google said Parler still hasn’t submitted a new version that complies with its rules.
Meanwhile, Google is expected to defend its practices by stressing that its company allows competing app stores on Android devices. It will also note that 90% of apps within Google’s app store are free to consumers.
Apple’s App Store is the only option, however, for consumers with Apple devices. The AppStore has generated more than $50 billion yearly for the company.
Shares of Apple (AAPL) were lower in premarket trading Wednesday morning, after trading down 1.28% at $133.11 in Tuesday’s session.
Meanwhile, shares of Alphabet (Google) were down 0.48% in pre-market trading after losing 0.47% in Tuesday’s session to close at $2,279.01.
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