(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. launched a new accessory called AirTag that will find physical items like bags, wallets and keys, entering a market with competitors including Tile Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.The accessory, announced Tuesday at Apple’s product event, looks like a small white-and metal puck and can attach to a key chain by way of a leather sleeve with a clip. The company said it would sell an individual AirTag for $29 or in packs of four for $99. The gadget will be available April 30, Apple said. The accessory will work with an updated version of the Find My app on all of the company’s major devices, adding third-party items to Apple’s service for tracking the location of iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and other products.AirTags have been in development at the Cupertino, California-based technology giant for more than two years and have been reported on by Bloomberg News multiple times. The company had intended to introduce the item-tracking gadget last year around the time of the iPhone 12 launch, but delayed the release, Bloomberg has previously reported.For an unannounced product, the AirTag has been quite controversial. The device has given smaller companies antitrust fodder against the iPhone maker. Tile, which has made a similar accessory for years, has filed antitrust complaints about Apple’s Find My app and the perceived advantage Apple would give its own upcoming product.Earlier this month, Apple opened its Find My app to third-party devices. It’s also allowing the makers of third-party devices, such as bicycles and headphones, to integrate location chips to be found by the Find My app without additional hardware.Samsung has been selling versions of its own physical item tracker. Sales of AirTags would likely be included in Apple’s growing segment of Wearables, Home, and Accessories, which generated more than $30 billion in the fiscal year ended in September.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Google will send a top policy executive to testify at Wednesday’s Senate app store antitrust hearing, while legal executives from Spotify Technology SA, Tile and Match Group Inc. will serve as witnesses, according to people with knowledge of the matter.Google Senior Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy Wilson White will be the search giant’s representative, joining Apple Chief Compliance Officer Kyle Andeer in the spotlight. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights, which is holding the hearing, also plans to call Horacio Gutierrez, Kirsten Daru, and Jared Sine, top legal executives from Spotify, Tile and Match Group, respectively.Mark Cooper, director of research for the Consumer Federation of America, will also be called. Spotify, Tile and Match have all been embroiled in antitrust fights with Apple recently, with Spotify and Match filing complaints about Apple’s App Store rules and fees. Tile believes Apple’s Find My app will give the company’s rumored AirTags accessory for finding physical objects a leg up over third-party rivals.Read more: Apple Makes Top Executive Available at Senate App Store HearingThe Senate subcommittee is investigating Apple and Google over competition issues and concerns from app developers. Apple’s Andeer previously testified on several matters for Apple before the House of Representatives and other U.S. lawmakers.White, a top deputy of Google legal chief Kent Walker, joined the company in 2011 after working as a software developer and patent lawyer. Since 2013, he has worked as a policy director on Google’s ads and apps divisions, units that were critical to Google’s business success with mobile phones. They’re also units that have been at the center of some of Google’s political troubles.On the app store issue, Google often argues that it differs from Apple since Android device owners are free to download alternative app stores, like those from Samsung and wireless carriers. But Google does require device manufacturers to install its app store and other mobile services, giving its properties a competitive advantage. That arrangement was the centerpiece of a European Union antitrust case against Google. The company disputed the EU charges.The subcommittee is run by Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, and Senator Mike Lee is the panel’s top Republican. The two lawmakers said Apple initially declined to participate, and they sent a letter to Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook to demand that the company send a witness.“Apple’s power over the cost, distribution, and availability of mobile applications on the Apple devices used by millions of consumers raises serious competition issues that are of interest to the subcommittee, consumers, and app developers,” the letter said. “A full and fair examination of these issues before the subcommittee requires Apple’s participation.”The Justice Department’s antitrust division has been investigating Apple’s App Store practices to determine whether the company is harming competition, Bloomberg has reported. Apple is embroiled in an antitrust lawsuit with Epic Games Inc., which goes to trial in early May. Earlier on Monday, Apple said it would allow the Parler social network app to return to the App Store, potentially easing some of the expected questioning on Wednesday.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Digital secretary Oliver Dowden has issued a public interest intervention notice (PIIN) confirming that he is intervening in the proposed acquisition.