Apple showcased Tile’s technology at its biggest annual event in 2018 and the startup sent an engineer to Apple’s headquarters to develop a feature with the company’s voice assistant Siri, even as Apple carried Tile in the App Store.
Early the following year, Tile’s executives read news reports of Apple launching a hardware product along with a service that resembled what Tile sold. By June, Apple had stopped selling Tile’s products in stores and has since hired away one of its engineers.
“After thoughtful consideration and months of bringing our concerns to Apple through regular … channels, Tile has made the decision to continue raising concerns over Apple’s anti-competitive practices,” Tile general counsel Kirsten Daru told Reuters in an interview.
The startup will be one of four companies testifying at the latest hearing of the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee in Colorado on Friday, urging Congress to look at how these companies use their considerable clout in the online market to hurt rivals.
Similar investigations are underway at the Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission and a bipartisan collection of attorneys general from dozens of states.
In September, House lawmakers asked more than 80 companies for information about how their businesses may have been harmed by any anti-competitive behavior from Amazon.com Inc, Apple, Facebook and Alphabet’s Google. In October, Committee Chairman David Cicilline said he expects to have a final report on its probe by the “first part” of 2019.
Another company testifying on Friday is Basecamp, which sells an online project management tool, and has raised concerns about Google’s advertising and search practices. Google makes up more than 40% of Basecamp’s traffic.
Google allows competitors to purchase ads on Basecamp’s trademark, and then blocks consumers from reaching its site, Co-Founder David Heinemeier Hansson told Reuters in an interview. The company has started multiple trademark infringement investigations through Google’s internal process, but it is “onerous and slow,” he said.
Sonia Rina Landry is a passionate entrepreneur, speaker, author, and personal development coach. She is an outspoken advocate of the free market economy and has helped countless clients identify their core values, envision and realize goals that resonate with those values. She oversees several businesses online and offline.