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Apple CEO Tim Cook Likens Competition in the Smartphone Business to “A Street Fight”

(Noted News) Apple CEO Tim Cook testified yesterday at an antitrust hearing with the U.S. House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee.  Cook remain composed and spoke eloquently in response to criticism and grilling by some House Representatives.

Cook was hit with complaints about competitor apps, and Apple was accused of making its ‌App Store‌ rules unavailable to developers, arbitrarily enforcement of secretive rules, changing them at will, enforcing rules that benefit Apple, and discriminating between smaller and larger app developers.

In response, Cook claimed that Apple treats all developers the same, with open and transparent rules. “We care deeply about privacy and quality. We look at every app, but the rules apply evenly to everyone.” Cook said that some developers are not favored over others and that Apple examines all apps, small or large.

Cook was questioned about reduced commission rates for apps like Amazon Prime and was asked whether Apple uses data collected from the ‌App Store‌ to decide whether it would be profitable for Apple to develop a competing app.  Cook was also asked hypothetically, what, if anything, would stop its App Store commission and fees, to rising to 50%.  Cook stated that the majority of apps pay no commission and fees, and those that do are either at a 15% or 30% rate, and that there is rigorous competition in his market.

He also noted that Apple does not have the biggest market share in some areas, that commission and fees have not increased since the launch of the App store, and that developers can write their apps for Android, Windows, Xbox, or Playstation.

We have fierce competition at the developer side and the customer side.  Essentially, it’s so competitive I’d describe it as a street fight for market share in the smartphone business.

Cook also said that Apple does not retaliate or bully app developers who do not agree to Apple’s ‌App Store‌ rules. “It’s strongly against company culture,” said Cook.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google/Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos were grilled, criticized, and questioned under oath as well.

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