FCC commissioner urges DOJ to investigate Apple and TikTok

Posted:
in General Discussion
The FCC's Brendan Carr is continuing to press for TikTok to be removed from the App Store, and his latest tactic is writing to the Department of Justice to try to inspire antitrust actions.

TikTok on a smartphone
TikTok on a smartphone


Carr, the Federal Communications Commission's top-ranking Republican commissioner, has previously pressed Apple and Google to ban TikTok. Writing to Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai in June 2022, he called the video service a wolf in "sheep's clothing."

According to CNN, he's since written to the Department of Justice about these Big Tech firms and TikTok. Carr argues that TikTok's presence on the App Store and Google Play Store is an antitrust issue.

"Apple and Google are not exercising their ironclad control over apps for the altruistic or procompetitive purposes that they put forward as defenses to existing antitrust or competition claims," Carr wrote. "Instead, their conduct shows that those rationales are merely pretextual -- talismanic references invoked to shield themselves from liability."

Consequently, argues Carr, the DOJ's Antitrust Division should take into account TikTok, "to the extent that it assesses the reasonableness of Apple's and Google's anticompetitive actions."

Carr's letter, now obtained by CNN, was sent on December 2, 2022, to Jonathan Kanter, antitrust chief at the DOJ.

Separately, Carr has recently claimed that a ban of TikTok in the US is inevitable. Carr's concerns are to do with how the social media service is owned by China.

He believes that it's impossible to be confident that data is "not finding its way back into the hands of the [Chinese Communist Party]."

Addressing that specific comment, TikTok responded that Carr has "no role in the confidential discussions with the U.S. government related to TikTok." The company also said that he "appears to be expressing views independent of his role as an FCC commissioner."

TikTok has not responded to Carr's letter to the DOJ. CNN says that Google declined to comment, and that Apple and the DOJ did not respond to requests.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,568member
    While I question how much of a real threat TicToc is, if they want to ban it, ban it.
    To drag in antitrust questions is just weird.
    beowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 10
    TikTok may be a threat, but Carr hates Apple and Google based on his political leanings. The FCC has no power in this instance. He is just trying to add another reason to declare Apple is violating anti-trust laws so the DOJ can take action against Apple for being successful.  Apparently Mr Carr doesn’t even know what anti-trust is.
    rob53foregoneconclusiondanoxwaveparticlewilliamlondonwatto_cobraleftoverbacon
  • Reply 3 of 10
    I believe TikTok should be banned from the US as well as the EU, since US and EU Internet companies are banned in China like Spotify and Alphabet 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 10
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 453member
    Against banning anything. It always starts with something you do not care about and then moves into things you do. They probably Lu would like to ban the entire internet or at least add massive regulation and monitoring. 

    Look up PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) and how the government wanted to squash it by saying it was considered a munition. They still want to backdoor encryption. 
    rob53waveparticlewilliamlondonwatto_cobraJapheyleftoverbacon
  • Reply 5 of 10
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,325member
    Time Cook can’t ban Tik Tok from the App Store. That would upset his master, Xi Jinping. even if the U.S. bans it it will remain on the App Store.
    edited December 2022 williamlondon
  • Reply 6 of 10
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,518member
    I believe TikTok should be banned from the US as well as the EU, since US and EU Internet companies are banned in China like Spotify and Alphabet 
    Spotify and Google should be banned from iOS and Mac OS, TikTok and Twitter can join them Apple doesn’t need any of them. Let them swim on the open web.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 10
    I believe TikTok should be banned from the US as well as the EU, since US and EU Internet companies are banned in China like Spotify and Alphabet 
    Quite the mature response, but then again who said geopolitics is practiced by adults? ;-)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 10
    Why is this troglodyte from the Ajit Pai era still at the FCC?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 10
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,739member
    I believe TikTok should be banned from the US as well as the EU, since US and EU Internet companies are banned in China like Spotify and Alphabet 

    But China did not "ban" Google and Spotify in China. China told Google and Spotify that if they want to do business in China, they must adhere to China censorship laws. Google and Spotify decided that it was not in their best interest to censor their services for the China market and chose to opt out of doing business in China.

    The US told Tik Tok that in order to do business in the US, they must store all their US users data, on US servers. Tic Tok made a deal with Oracle to store their US data on Oracle servers. Tic Tok could have chosen not to do that and thus be "banned" from doing business in the US.

    If a company wants to do business in another country, they must adhere to the laws and regulations of that country. It's no different than the EU soon "banning" Apple from selling iPhones with a lightening port for charging, in the EU. Apple can conform with the EU and use a USB C port on iPhones sold in the EU or choose not to sell iPhones in the EU. Thus being "banned".  
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 10 of 10
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,739member
    lkrupp said:
    Time Cook can’t ban Tik Tok from the App Store. That would upset his master, Xi Jinping. even if the U.S. bans it it will remain on the App Store.

    Please explain why Apple should remove Tik Tok from the Apple  App Store, without sounding any more stupid than you already had, just because some anti corporation  technological illiterate US politicians wants to ban Tik ToK in the US.

    You do realize that the Apple App Store serves every country where Apple devices are sold and used. Why shouldn't the Apple consumers in the EU or Canada or Mexico or Brazil or anywhere else in the World where Tik ToK is not banned, be allowed to download a Tik Tok App from the Apple App Store?
    muthuk_vanalingam
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