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Apple CEO Tim Cook, alongside figures from other Silicon Valley giants including Facebook, Google, and Amazon, is set to offer testimony as part of an antitrust subcommittee set up by the US House of Representatives.
The hearing is meant to examine potential anti-competitive behavior ways from Big Tech, including the monopolization of markets, and will hopefully bring about positive changes for the consumer. Competition is good for progress, after all.
Cook’s opening speech has been released ahead of time. In it, he speaks about Apple’s core values and business practices. Specifically, the fact that Apple does not dominate any market it competes in, preferring to make the best rather than the most in any product category. He also noted that the only place Apple plays gatekeeper is in its own App Store, and that policy is part of the reason customers trust what they find there.
Good points, for sure, but there are still question marks over plenty of Apple’s policies and still lots that Cook hasn’t addressed. The overall vibe seems to be “we don’t need to change or reflect.”
You can read Cook’s opening statement in full here. It’s an interesting read with many valid points even if you don’t agree with everything he says.
This isn’t the first time Apple and others have been called up for an antitrust hearing by the US House Committee. Just last year Apple was asked a whopping 43 questions on topics ranging from repair shops to data collection to app developer revenues.
Many of these questions prompt legitimate responses from Apple that explain away any concerns. But thankfully for consumers, some past questions seem to have influenced Apple’s policy. For example, just last year the company was grilled on why it doesn’t allow users to replace Safari as the default web browser in iOS. Just months later, Apple announced that iOS 14 would for the first time allow third-party defaults for web browsers and mail clients.