The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday voted to advance major antitrust legislation in the United States and Apple CEO Tim Cook is personally lobbying against it. The committee recently deliberated on the “American Innovation and Choice Online Act” which is aimed at reducing the power of tech giants like Apple, Google, Amazon, and others. Specifically for Apple, the legislation could bring major changes to the App Store and the iPhone.
Sen. Ted Cruz says he spoke to Apple CEO Tim Cook for 40 minutes about the antitrust bill
In October 2021, Senator Amy Klobuchar presented the “American Innovation and Choice Online Act” antitrust bill which aims to reduce the power of tech giants like Apple, Google, Amazon, and others to give preference to their own products and services on their platforms. In Apple’s case, the bill could impact its treatment of competing services and the installation of pre-installed apps on its devices. As reported by CNBC:
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 16-6 Thursday to advance a major tech competition bill, which some experts consider legislators’ best shot at making substantial reform to laws that govern the industry.
The American Innovation and Choice Online Act passed in a bipartisan manner, setting it on a path to potentially be adopted by the full Senate.
As reported a few days ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook had personally been lobbying against the proposed bill by calling and meeting with legislators in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Apple’s senior director of government affairs, Tim Powderly, also wrote a letter committee members to highlight the harmful impact of changes on the App Store.
It was reported today that Tim Cook has been reaching out to lawmakers since 2021. Judiciary Committee member Sen. Chris Coons recently met with Cook as well. Furthermore, during today’s deliberation, Texas senator Ted Cruz revealed that he spoke with Cook on the phone for about 40 minutes. However, Cruz said he was still prepared to move the bill out of committee.
“One issue that he raised, that I thought was a reasonable issue, was a concern that the bill would erect obstacles to Apple giving consumers the ability to opt-out of apps monitoring what they’re doing online where they’re going, and what’s occurring on their phone,” Cruz said.
After deliberations, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act was approved by the committee with the final tally being 16-6. Now, the government will put the bill on the calendar to be voted on, debated, or amended on the Senate floor.
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