U.S. House Committee Asks Apple to Send Info About App Store Policies and More as Part of Antitrust Investigation
As part of a bipartisan investigation of competition in digital markets, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee today sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook requesting that the company provide any documents and executive communications related to its various policies for the App Store, product repairs, and more.
The investigation seeks any internal documents or communication involving Apple executives, such as emails, for the following topics:
- Apple's decision to remove from the App Store or to impose any restrictions on certain parental control apps, including Freedom, Kidslox, Mobicip, OurPact, and Qustodio
- Apple's App Store algorithm for determining rankings in search results
- Apple's policy related to the App Store's in-app purchase mechanism and its revenue split
- Apple's policy regarding whether apps are permitted to include in-app links to non-Apple payment systems
- Apple's policy regarding whether users can set non-Apple apps as default, such as web browsers and music, maps, and email apps
- Apple's policy regarding whether to allow any third-party app store beyond the App Store on the iPhone
- Apple's decision to "sherlock" any functionality from third-party apps, including any discussions about Clue, Duet Display, and SwiftKey
- Apple's policy regarding whether third-party web browsers must use a specific rendering engine, such as WebKit
- Apple's restrictions on third-party repairs
- Apple's decision to offer discounted iPhone battery replacements throughout 2018, or the actual or projected effects of this decision, including any effect on iPhone sales
- Apple's decision to introduce the Independent Repair Provider Program
- Apple's agreement to sell products on Amazon and corresponding move to limit unauthorized resellers on Amazon
The Committee has requested that Apple respond no later than October 14, 2019 and also sent similar letters to Facebook, Amazon, and Google.
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Top Rated Comments
Quit comparing the Apple Store to other stores. On iPhones, the App Store is the ONLY store. Because of this, Apple can potentially be anti-competitive (potentially is key word there, not saying they are).
These probes are warranted. Whether Apple is violating antitrust laws or not is up to the regulators.
[doublepost=1568385884][/doublepost] Your definition of marketplace ("On iPhones, the App Store is the ONLY store") is contrary to antitrust law.
The walled garden approach has been in play since 2007+. its been over 12 years now. every iPhone owner today is aware of its existence. Every ipHone owner has purchased the iPhone despite knowing it because they have accepted that this is the approach they feel will make their phone more often than not more secure than other vendors .
Apple isn’t this bastion of the moral high ground.
If there are any good intentions in these probes, it is usually lost due to the ignorance of the politicians involved - I don’t care if they are Republican or Democrat.