Apple & Tile In New Fight Abuse Of Power & Nobbling Claims
Apple who are constantly being sued or accused of stealing technology is now been accused of abusing its power to unfairly favour one of its own products over that of a smaller rival a claim that will sound familiar to several companies who have been to compete up against the US tech giant.
Correspondence sent to send to Margret Vestager European competition commissioner reveal that US based tracking app maker Tile argued that Apple was making it more difficult for users to operate its product on their smartphones compared to Apple’s own rival application, FindMy, by selectively disabling features that allow for a seamless user experience.
Tile, whose Bluetooth tracking technology is very popular at retailers such as JB Hi Fi and The Good Guys allows users to find their keys, phones or other items claims Apple business practises are “seriously questionable”.
The Company has called on the European Commission to open a probe into Apple’s business practices, having made similar accusations in the US earlier this year.
Apple responded claiming “We strenuously deny the allegations of uncompetitive behaviour that Tile is waging against us,” Apple said in a statement. “Consistent with the critical path we’ve been on for over a decade, last year we introduced further privacy protections that safeguard user location data. Tile doesn’t like those decisions so instead of arguing the issue on its merits, they’ve instead decided to launch meritless attacks.”
The new accusation of alleged anti-competitive practices in Europe will increase pressure on regulators to act against Apple.
Tile claims that recent changes made by Apple to its operating system have resulted in a more frustrating customer experience when using Tile.
The new confrontation comes as Tile gets ready to launch a new product which could be affected by Apple’s policies.
“In the past twelve months, Apple has taken several steps to completely disadvantage Tile, including by making it more difficult for consumers to use our products and services,” said Tile’s general counsel Kirsten Daru in the letter seen by the UK Financial Times.
“This is particularly concerning because Apple’s actions come at the same time that Apple both launched a new FindMy app that competes even more directly with Tile and also began preparing for the launch of a competitive hardware product,” the letter added.
Apple devices come with its tracking app preloaded into the iOS operating system, allowing users to locate people and other Apple products.
The company is reportedly also working on a piece of hardware that will be attached to items like TV remote controls or bikes to track them in a similar manner to Tile’s square plastic tags — though using new ultra-wideband chip technology which analysts believe will provide a superior level of precision.