U.S. House Judiciary Anti-trust Subcommittee has concluded its investigation of Silicon valley’s tech giants and Apple strongly objects to the committee’s conclusory remarks. The subcommittee is of the opinion that the U.S top tech giants have established “kinds of monopolies like the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons.”
Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon were under federal investigation for their allegedly anti-competitive behavior. Starting in July, the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook along with Sundar Pichai (CEO of Alphabet), Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook), and Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon) appeared in front of the federal probing committee, virtually to answer for their operational practices and policies and reviewed the anti-trust laws in the current digital age.
Subcommittee’s Conclusory Remarks
In the 450 pages document, the committee has recommended changes in antitrust laws as it believes that the tech giants have established “monopoly power” to take advantage of small businesses and competition.
In regards to Apple’s App Store, David Cicilline (Chairman of the subcommittee) is of the opinion to implement the “Glass-Steagall for the Internet” to establish Apple and App Store as two separate entities. As per the report, the iPhone maker controls the app distribution on iOS devices which affects competition.
House Democrats suggest that tech companies should not prioritize their own services to provide equal opportunities to competitors and should offer users ways to easily transfer their data from one platform to another. However, the Republicans oppose the structural separation suggestions of the committee.
“We have always said that scrutiny is reasonable and appropriate but we vehemently disagree with the conclusions reached in this staff report with respect to Apple. Our company does not have a dominant market share in any category where we do business. From its beginnings 12 years ago with just 500 apps, we’ve built the App Store to be a safe and trusted place for users to discover and download apps and a supportive way for developers to create and sell apps globally.
Hosting close to two million apps today, the App Store has delivered on that promise and met the highest standards for privacy, security and quality. The App Store has enabled new markets, new services and new products that were unimaginable a dozen years ago, and developers have been primary beneficiaries of this ecosystem.
Last year in the United States alone, the App Store facilitated $138 billion in commerce with over 85% of that amount accruing solely to third-party developers. Apple’s commission rates are firmly in the mainstream of those charged by other app stores and gaming marketplaces. Competition drives innovation, and innovation has always defined us at Apple. We work tirelessly to deliver the best products to our customers, with safety and privacy at their core, and we will continue to do so.”
In the coming day, the company will release a more detailed response. So, far it has been defending its App Store policies and explaining its benefits for consumers and developers on apple.com.