Technology executives said in a congressional hearing in Boulder, Colorado on Friday that Apple has too much power over the company’s App Store platform, which is the only way for most people to install software on iPhones and iPads.
The hearing, held by the House Antitrust Subcommittee, is another signal that Washington lawmakers are increasingly scrutinizing big technology companies over power that might not always harm consumers, but can hurt smaller businesses.
The hearing, which focused on Amazon, Facebook, and Google, and at times Apple, also indicates that lawmakers continue to lump big technology antitrust concerns together, despite the fact that the companies operate different marketplaces and face different allegations of anti-competitive behavior.
Basecamp founder David Heinemeier Hansson said that anyone who submits applications to the App Store is worried that Apple could reject their app, and that the company’s system of appeals is difficult to navigate.
“All it takes is being assigned the wrong clerk,” Hansson said. “Then you’ll be stuck in an appeals process that would make Kafka blush.”
Hansson was referring to Franz Kafka’s novel “The Trial,” which describes a frustrating, mysterious bureaucracy.
MacDailyNews Take: Great soundbite.
Apple.com’s “App Store” page explains: We created the App Store with two goals in mind: that it be a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for all developers. We take responsibility for ensuring that apps are held to a high standard for privacy, security, and content because nothing is more important than maintaining the trust of our users.
We created the App Store Review Guidelines to provide clear guidance to developers on building the best apps for our customers. The five pillars of the guidelines — Safety, Performance, Business, Design, and Legal — require that apps offered on the App Store are safe, provide a good user experience, adhere to our rules on user privacy, secure devices from malware and threats, and use approved business models.
Read more here.
Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines are here.