Apple CEO Tim Cook Will Testify in U.S. Tech Antitrust Probe in July

Apple CEO Tim Cook plans to testify in an upcoming antitrust hearing with the U.S. House judiciary antitrust subcommittee, chairman David Cicilline said today in an interview with Kara Swisher.

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According to Cicilline, Apple CEO ‌Tim Cook‌, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Alphabet (Google) CEO Sundar Pichai, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will all appear at the antitrust hearing set to take place in late July.

The antitrust subcommittee has embarked on a probe of competition in digital markets that involves all four companies, and in June, letters were sent out to CEOs asking them to testify.

Apple's App Store policies have been under scrutiny from the U.S. government since last year, and Apple has been questioned about the removal of parental control apps from the ‌‌App Store‌ in 2019‌, how search result rankings are determined, how Apple's in-app purchase mechanism works, whether apps are permitted to include in-app links to non-Apple payment systems, policies surrounding setting non-Apple apps as default, and more.

Cicilline, who is the chairman of the antitrust subcommittee looking into Apple's ‌App Store‌ agreements with developers, said in June that Apple's ‌App Store‌ fees are "exorbitant" and akin to "highway robbery."

The antitrust subcommittee has been soliciting opinions from developers who create apps for Apple's ‌App Store‌ since November 2019, and recently, those discussions have centered on the 30 percent cut that Apple takes from in-app subscriptions.

Cook is likely to be questioned on Apple's various ‌App Store‌ policies and the responses and concerns that the subcommittee has heard from ‌App Store‌ developers.

The investigation into Apple's ‌App Store‌ practices is said to be in the early stages, but the committee's goal is to generate a report with recommendations on legislative action.

Top Rated Comments

gnasher729 Avatar
9 months ago
Separately from my day job, I also have an app in the store that I wrote just for fun, that I also use myself, with a price of $0.99 because I can't see why people should use it without paying when I invested many hours of work. It's also completely ad free because I hate ads, and has no access to any personal data of the users because I'm not interested.

Using the App Store, I can sell this app in over 100 countries with zero effort. Local taxes are automatically deducted for me. For 30% of the remainder, Apple does all the work for me, displaying the app in the store, handling downloads, restores etc., paying for the servers, handling the sales with laws of 100 different countries. Just setting prices with 100 different exchange rates that change all the time would keep me busy forever. As a result, I've made significant sales to locations mostly in Asia and Africa that I would have never been able to sell to myself.

No, I don't see this as "highway robbery" and "exorbitant" at all.

There are also gazillions of apps created by big companies that are free because they serve some company's purpose. For example banking apps, booking NHS appointments, booking flights or hotels and so on. Apple handles them all for free. And Apple distributes the app that I make my living with for free.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nvmls Avatar
9 months ago
Judge: How do you plead Timo?

Timo: Innocent. Although next phone will ship without chargers.

Judge: Granted. Too courageous to imprison.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JoshBoy Avatar
9 months ago
Highway robbery? At 30%? Well the government takes up to 48% of my income in tax plus charges me additional 10% tax of goods and services and doesn’t provide me with any alternative by default.....
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gnasher729 Avatar
9 months ago

Highway robbery? At 30%? Well the government takes up to 48% of my income in tax plus charges me additional 10% tax of goods and services and doesn’t provide me with any alternative by default.....
It costs me about £25 if I drive my car into London. Now that is literally highway robbery :-)
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArrayDecay Avatar
9 months ago
I'm more interested in hearing what Zuckerface says.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ghanwani Avatar
9 months ago
any idea how to get a pass to the after-event party?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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