Apple decides to skip upcoming Senate antitrust hearing, drawing criticism

Posted:
in General Discussion
U.S. lawmakers are urging Apple to reconsider its decision not to testify in an upcoming Senate subcommittee hearing on antitrust issues in mobile app stores.

Credit: WikiMedia
Credit: WikiMedia


The U.S. Subcommittee Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights is examining competition in mobile app marketplaces. The chair of the subcommittee, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), signaled plans to hold hearings on app store policies earlier in 2021.

In a letter penned by Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Mike Lee, Apple is said to have "abruptly declared that it would not provide any witnesses" in the upcoming hearing. The letter calls the sudden change "unacceptable."

"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. A full and fair examination of these issues before the subcommittee requires Apple's participation," the letter reads.

The Cupertino tech giant cited ongoing litigation for its change in course. A legal dispute between Epic Games and Apple is set to go to trial on May 3.

A subcommittee hearing is being planned for later in April, but no firm date has yet been set, Reuters reported Friday. A source told the media outlet that Google has agreed to testify in the hearing.

Apple has come under fire for antitrust issues in recent years. Allegations of the company wielding too much power picked up in 2020, after Epic Games baited Apple into removing "Fortnite" from the App Store with the implementation of a payment feature flouting Apple's developer guidelines.

This isn't the first time Apple has faced congressional scrutiny. After a monthslong investigation, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee concluded that Apple enjoys monopoly power with the App Store. The House is currently considering legislative proposals to rein in Big Tech.

Apple is also facing pressure from individual states to change its app store policies. Several bills have been introduced that could force the company to allow third-party payment mechanisms or app stores on iOS.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,593member
    “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…”
    1) Apple doesn’t control the cost of Apps, that’s set by their App suppliers, they determine their fee only as any business does.
    2) Apple’s centralised distribution model ensures a higher reach for their App suppliers & customers than any fragmented/competitive model. It also provides a superior CX against the bizarre array of app-specific installers/updaters other models require.
    3) Apple’s centralised model provides exemplary App availability rather than tapping through a jungle of old app versions and malware links.

    Politicians should stick to crowd control for those of weak enough intellect to still be manipulated & exploited by choice. Perhaps they should run an inquiry into that.
    edited April 9 n2macswilliamlondonh4y3sbaconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 22
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 877member
    I guess we’ll have to wait for these dinosaurs to die off before we start getting some technologically savvy people in congress.

    And why does no one mention that everywhere else in American society you are retired or forced to retire by the time you’re 70? American politics looks like an archeologist’s wet dream. 
    williamlondonlkrupprattlhedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 22
    dee_deedee_dee Posts: 40member
    There is no way Apple is going to discuss this in the middle of being sued by Epic. 
    christophbwilliamlondonbaconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 22
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,338member
    Quick reminder: BEING a monopoly is not illegal.

    ABUSING the monopoly is illegal.

    If the US government was serious about cracking down on monopoly abuse, it would have broken up or otherwise reformed Amazon and Google quite some time ago.

    That they didn’t and still aren’t doing so suggests to me that this is more of a shakedown for more lobbyist/bribe/campaign money than a serious inquiry. The televised hearings have thus far only reinforced that view.
    muthuk_vanalingamevolutwilliamlondonaderutterh4y3sRayz2016sdw2001watto_cobraJWSC
  • Reply 5 of 22
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 8,991member
    When has a congressional hearing ever been anything but a political dog and pony show where politicians gets to showboat and ask ‘gotcha’ questions to enhance their reelection chances by pandering to their base? 


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 22
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 8,991member
    mac_dog said:
    I guess we’ll have to wait for these dinosaurs to die off before we start getting some technologically savvy people in congress.

    And why does no one mention that everywhere else in American society you are retired or forced to retire by the time you’re 70? American politics looks like an archeologist’s wet dream. 
    So you voted for Joe? /s
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 22
     full and fair examination of these issues before the subcommittee “
    THERE WILL BE NOTHING FULL OR FAIR in the “hearing”
    I watched them give _uckerberg full pass. 
    NEXT
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 22
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,218member
    mac_dog said:
    I guess we’ll have to wait for these dinosaurs to die off before we start getting some technologically savvy people in congress.

    And why does no one mention that everywhere else in American society you are retired or forced to retire by the time you’re 70? American politics looks like an archeologist’s wet dream. 


    You're simply advocating ageism -- a close cousin of racism.  Instead of a white hood you wear a grey cloak and carry a large scythe.
    baconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 22
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,218member
    None of these issues will be resolved till they figure out what the real issues are.  Specifically,
    -- Technology has become a political tool -- mostly due to social media -- so it is getting increasing scrutiny and pressure by those most affected  by it:  politicians

    and

    --  In today's entitled world, when people see success, they try to get a piece of the action -- often through political chicanery.
  • Reply 10 of 22
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,421member
    As much as big tech needs to be reigned in, I’m so sick of these glasses-on-the-nose idiot politicians demanding testimony for the circus show.   If Apple’s testimony is “required”  then subpoena them.  If not, invite them and express disappointment if they decline.  Call it “unacceptable” all you want...Apple has 10x the approval that Congress does.  
    baconstangwatto_cobralarryjw
  • Reply 11 of 22
    jibjib Posts: 18member
    mac_dog said:
    I guess we’ll have to wait for these dinosaurs to die off before we start getting some technologically savvy people in congress.

    And why does no one mention that everywhere else in American society you are retired or forced to retire by the time you’re 70? American politics looks like an archeologist’s wet dream. 
    Actually, mandatory retirement is illegal under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act UNLESS there is a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ) or they are age 65 and are a “Bona Fide Executive” or in a “High Policymaking Position”.

    You could argue that congressmen are in a high policymaking position, but given that congress writes the laws, that is unlikely to be a winning 
    argument. 

    I think the average congressman is largely unaware of technological policy, regardless of age.
    GeorgeBMacbaconstang
  • Reply 12 of 22
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,421member
    mac_dog said:
    I guess we’ll have to wait for these dinosaurs to die off before we start getting some technologically savvy people in congress.

    And why does no one mention that everywhere else in American society you are retired or forced to retire by the time you’re 70? American politics looks like an archeologist’s wet dream. 


    You're simply advocating ageism -- a close cousin of racism.  Instead of a white hood you wear a grey cloak and carry a large scythe.
    I thought this was satirical until I saw who posted it.  Leave it to you to calm someone ageist (and tie it to racism) because he noted many in congress are old and out of touch.  
    gatorguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 22
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,218member
    sdw2001 said:
    mac_dog said:
    I guess we’ll have to wait for these dinosaurs to die off before we start getting some technologically savvy people in congress.

    And why does no one mention that everywhere else in American society you are retired or forced to retire by the time you’re 70? American politics looks like an archeologist’s wet dream. 


    You're simply advocating ageism -- a close cousin of racism.  Instead of a white hood you wear a grey cloak and carry a large scythe.
    I thought this was satirical until I saw who posted it.  Leave it to you to calm someone ageist (and tie it to racism) because he noted many in congress are old and out of touch.  

    If you promote racism, you're a racist
    If you promote misogynism, you're a misogynist
    If you promote ageism, you're a racist.

    Regardless of silly protestations and excuses.
  • Reply 14 of 22
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 323member
    chasm said:
    Quick reminder: BEING a monopoly is not illegal.

    ABUSING the monopoly is illegal.

    If the US government was serious about cracking down on monopoly abuse, it would have broken up or otherwise reformed Amazon and Google quite some time ago.

    That they didn’t and still aren’t doing so suggests to me that this is more of a shakedown for more lobbyist/bribe/campaign money than a serious inquiry. The televised hearings have thus far only reinforced that view.
    Amazon is not a monopoly by any measure unless Walmart closes all of their stores.
  • Reply 15 of 22
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 323member
    More than 1/2 of our states are right to work, which you can be terminated at will with no recourse. You might try to sue, but ageism will not be provable. 
  • Reply 16 of 22
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,616member
    If you promote ageism, you're a racist.
    An excellent point!
  • Reply 17 of 22
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 480member
    chasm said:
    Quick reminder: BEING a monopoly is not currently illegal.

    You missed a word.

    We're talking about congress here.  You know, the people who could fix that problem.



    dantheman827
  • Reply 18 of 22
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,523member
    These congressional hearings are mostly dog & pony shows created to give politicians a forum for advancing their own agendas, regardless of the stated purpose of the inquiry. Nothing ever gets solved, clarified, or narrowed down in scope or focus as a consequence of these carnival sideshow. Now, if they installed high voltage electrodes in the seats of the politicians and administered a painful little jolt every time they drifted off-topic or started grandstanding - I’d watch these hearing with immense interest. Hell, I’d maybe even pull together a little “watch party” and make up Bullshit Bingo cards so everyone can wager on which group of politicians get jolted first. If we have to waste everyone's time, it should be at least a little bit fun. Win-win.
  • Reply 19 of 22
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 754member
    mac_dog said:
    I guess we’ll have to wait for these dinosaurs to die off before we start getting some technologically savvy people in congress.

    And why does no one mention that everywhere else in American society you are retired or forced to retire by the time you’re 70? American politics looks like an archeologist’s wet dream. 
    The dumbest in Congress are below 70, some far below 70 -- if measuring by age -- close to 70 if measuring by IQ. 
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 20 of 22

    Apple decidesdeclines to skipparticipate in upcoming Senate antitrustcash grab hearing, drawing criticism from leeches


    Fixed your headline for ya.
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