Tim Cook came through his examination by the US House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee relatively unscathed, even as his fellow tech CEOs came under heavy attack.
statement to the US House Judiciary Committee, Tim Cook stressed that the App Store was a source of jobs in the US, and called it an economic miracle. “More than 1.9 million American jobs in all 50 states are attributable to the App Store ecosystem,” he said. He also insisted that every app that is submitted for publication is treated equally and fairly.
Cook also contested allegations that Apple prevented app developers in the pandemic from switching their business models to subscriptions, for which Apple only collects 15% commission from the second year. Pressure would be applied only if an app was not suitable for the subscription model, he claimed.
The dispute with the providers
of the Hey email application having been settled, Cook did not go into details on this matter.
Documents available to the committee indicate that in 2011 Apple considered the idea of raising its subscription cut to 40%. Instead it decided to head in the other direction: since 2016, Apple has only required 15% from the second year of the subscription.
In addition to Cook, the bosses of Facebook, Amazon and Google were invited to the hearing, which was held via video conference and discussed the unregulated power of the big four technology companies. The chairman of the committee, Democrat David Cicilline, waxed dramatic in his opening speech: “Our founders would not bow before a king. Nor should we bow before the emperors of the online economy.”
However, as was expected, representatives of the two parties did not pull together. Republicans wanted to focus on Facebook supposedly suppressing “conservative opinions”. The divided nature of US politics became clear: Democratics complain that Facebook is allowing the unchecked spread of false information about COVID-19, while Republicans are worried that the network sometimes deletes it.
Apple was left alone during this part of proceedings.
(It turns out that
Most developers will only have to pay 15% to Apple now following a change of policy at Apple.)
This article originally appeared on
Macwelt. Translation by David Price.