Facing growing anticompetitive concerns, Apple CEO Tim Cook will tell the House Judiciary's Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law on Wednesday that Apple is a "uniquely American company" that operates in a competitive marketplace according to his prepared opening statement.
Continue Reading Below
Apple's leader will be joined by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai. All will be addressing issues surrounding whether any existing laws need to be changed to deal with competition issues in the wake of the explosion and reliance of the internet and digital companies. Cook plans to frame the tech giant as a company that does “not have a dominant market share in any market where we do business.”
He will cite a "fiercely competitive" smartphone market, which includes competitors LG, Samsung, Huawei and Google.
"As much as we believe the iPhone provides the best user experience, we know it is far from the only choice available to consumers,” Cook’s testimony reads.
Cook will also address concerns about Apple's App Store stifling competition. He will offer to Congress that the store "hosts more than 1.7 million [apps] -- only 60 of which are Apple software.”
“Clearly, if Apple is a gatekeeper, what we have done is open the gate wider," according to Cook's comments, "We want to get every app we can on the store, not keep them off.”
He notes that the App Store is based on a department store model, offering a carefully curated selection of products that are "high-quality, reliable and current" and a better alternative to developers than traditional retail.
“When the App Store was created, the prevailing distribution options available to software developers at the time did not work well,” Cook will say, “Brick-and-mortar stores charged high fees and had limited reach. Physical media like CDs had to be shipped and were hard to update."
The 22-year Apple veteran will tout that developers "keep 100% of the money they make" and that commissions charged by Apple are "comparable to or lower than commissions charged by the majority of our competitors" and "vastly lower than the 50 to 70 percent that software developers paid to distribute their work" before the App Store's launch in 2008.
In the 10 plus years since the App Store debuted, Cook will offer that Apple has "never raised the commission or added a single fee and that any changes have been made in "the direction of providing a better experience for our users and a compelling business opportunity for developers.”
The House antitrust hearing will take place Wednesday at noon eastern time.