Microsoft President Met With U.S. Antitrust Committee Investigating Apple and Expressed Concerns Over App Store

Apple CEO Tim Cook, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Alphabet/Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg are all set to participate in an antitrust hearing next Monday held by the United States House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee as part of an ongoing antitrust investigation on competition in digital markets.


Ahead of the hearing, the committee spoke with Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith, with The Information sharing details on the virtual meeting.

The committee wanted to talk with Smith so he could "provide Microsoft's perspective as a big tech company" formerly involved in antitrust regulation over Windows, but Smith also reportedly shared Microsoft's concerns with the way Apple operates the App Store.

Topics covered included Apple's arbitrary ‌App Store‌ approval processes, the 30 percent cut that Apple takes from app purchases and subscriptions, and requirements that developers use Apple's in-app purchase system.

At a Politico event in June, Smith expressed similar sentiments and said that it's time for regulators to take a look at app stores and the payment requirements.

"They impose requirements that increasingly say there is only one way to get on to our platform and that is to go through the gate that we ourselves have created. In some cases they create a very high price per toll - in some cases 30% of your revenue has to go to the toll keeper."

"The time has come - whether we are talking about D.C. or Brussels - for a much more focused conversation about the nature of app stores, the rules that are being put in place, the prices and the tolls that are being extracted and whether there is really a justification in antitrust law for everything that has been created."

Microsoft distributes multiple apps in Apple's ‌App Store‌, and is required to pay Apple 15 to 30 percent for any customers who subscribe to its Office 365 service through Apple's platform.

‌Tim Cook‌ and other tech CEOS will testify in the antitrust hearing on Monday, July 27 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time, and a livestream will be available on YouTube.

Top Rated Comments

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14 weeks ago
I guess Brad forgot about the Xbox Live E-commerce store they run where Microsoft takes 30% of a game publisher’s Xbox App Store revenues.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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14 weeks ago


Wah. Wah. Wah.

Microsoft crying because they don’t have a product that can compete with the iPhone is hilarious.

I get it, Microsoft is in a position of wanting to increase profits by reducing payments to vendors. I wonder how the App Store compares to the cost Microsoft would pay for Apple to carry office in the Apple stores, along with payment for wall placement.

Which was absolutely a thing, company reps (not MS) would come into my Apple store and make sure their products were on the shelves in the places they paid for.

Jfc. I know it’s unbelievably easy to dump on Microsoft on an apple related site. But you just come off as insecure. I’m so tired of this constant ******** on Microsoft around here. It leads to zero discussion.

Microsoft isn’t complaining about competing with the iPhone. As far as anyone can tell, they have zero interest in that. Instead, they’ve positioned themselves as more of a services company more than anything. And it’s smart. The duo looks like a legit awesome device that I’m sure is going to do pretty good in the corporate space. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

the issue here is the App Store. It’s the same problems that come up time and time again. Between the 30% cut, the fact that developers can’t put a CTA that says “go here to sign up” (say what you want, THATS a crap UX issue that shows up because of Apple).

I don’t even know why I’m bothering typing this out. You’re probably going to make some half assed comment ******** on Microsoft because you don’t like them

Ya'll disagreeing and can't even come up with a reason why right? Thank you for proving my point even more.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 weeks ago
Wah. Wah. Wah.

Microsoft crying because they don’t have a product that can compete with the iPhone is hilarious.

I get it, Microsoft is in a position of wanting to increase profits by reducing payments to vendors. I wonder how the App Store compares to the cost Microsoft would pay for Apple to carry office in the Apple stores, along with payment for wall placement.

Which was absolutely a thing, company reps (not MS) would come into my Apple store and make sure their products were on the shelves in the places they paid for.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 weeks ago


Windows, Word, Excel has MONOPOLY in all companies! But I guess it wasn't on the agenda.

How? We use gsuite at work.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 weeks ago


Windows, Word, Excel has MONOPOLY in all companies! But I guess it wasn't on the agenda.

Uh, no. There’s endless piles of versions of Linux you could use, or macOS - you’re not forced to use Windows at all.

As for Microsoft Office, you could instead use Google’s programs, or iWork, or OpenOffice, or LibreOffice, or there’s tons of other smaller Office competitors.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 weeks ago
Windows, Word, Excel has MONOPOLY in all companies! But I guess it wasn't on the agenda.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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