Tile: Apple’s Anti-Competitive Behavior Has ‘Gotten Worse, Not Better’

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Apple has been repeatedly accused of anti-competitive behavior from app developers and its competitors. Tile, known for making tracking tags, is the latest company to complain about Apple’s anti-competitive behavior. In a congressional panel on Wednesday, Tile accused Apple of not living up to its promise to resolve the dispute between two companies and introduce changes in iOS 13 that would negatively affect the core functionality of their app.

Tile had testified against Apple in January in front of a panel of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. Back then, Tile’s General Counsel noted that both companies had a mutually beneficial relationship but it started deteriorating last year as it emerged that Apple was working on its own Tile-like competitor. Since that hearing, Apple’s anti-competitive behavior has “gotten worse, not better.”

Apple made a change in iOS 13 that requires apps to keep prompting users for access to location data in the background. This is important as without this permission, Tile will only be able to track a lost item only when the app is open.

“Despite Apple’s multiple promises to reinstate ‘Always Allow’ background permissions option for third party apps’ geolocation services, Apple has not yet done so,” Tile said.

Apple referred to one of its response in February in which it noted that iOS 13 introduced a number of changes to protect user privacy. Tile countered this by saying that Apple’s own Find My app works in the background without regularly sending reminders about location data.

The U.S. Justice Department, FTC, and over two dozens attorneys from various states have been investigating tech giants like Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon for anti-competitive behavior. The U.S. Justice Department had reached out to app developers in February as a part of its investigation against Apple.

Tile is not the first company to highlight Apple’s anti-competitive behavior. Spotify had filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission in March last year for its monopolistic App Store practices. Alongside a major PR campaign, it also launched the Time to Play fair website highlighting Apple’s unfair behavior. There are plenty of other companies that are not happy with Apple’s unfair and unethical business practices and how they use their position to favor their own apps.

[Via Reuters]