Apple CEO Cook: U.S. government scrutiny is ‘fair,’ but we’re not a monopoly

Anna Driver, Susan Heavey, and Steve Orlofsky for Reuters:

Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook denied that the company is a monopoly as the U.S. government gears up for a potentially unprecedented probe into whether the iPhone maker and other technology giants are misusing their massive market power.

Cook, speaking in an interview with CBS News that aired on Tuesday, said Apple controlled a moderate share of the market but was not too big, and disagreed with calls from some U.S. politicians that the company be broken up.

“With size, I think scrutiny is fair. I think we should be scrutinized,” he said. But, he added, “I don’t think anybody reasonable is gonna come to the conclusion that Apple’s a monopoly.”

On Monday, sources told Reuters said U.S. authorities were preparing to launch what could be a wide-ranging probe with oversight divided between the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice. U.S. officials must still decide whether to open formal investigations.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, as we wrote this morning, the real problems where too much power is concentrated and the potential for abuse of their market power is greatest is clearly Google and Facebook.

Apple has nothing resembling a monopoly in any market in which they compete (PCs, smartphones, tablets, streaming music, ebooks, mobile apps, etc. etc. etc.), they only have a virtual monopoly on quality, well-heeled customers, because they’re smart. They skim the cream off the top, not race to the bottom, of the barrel.


  1. Apple is the only company building Mac computers, building iPads and iPhones, building Apple Watches, and building OSs for all-the-above. That would make it a monopoly – IF there were no other computers, no other tablets, no other smart phones, all with their own OSs. There are multiple others outside of Apple’s control.

    1. No argument with a company having a monopoly on products they produce ‘in-house’. Where it becomes anti-competitive is when you restrict 3rd party suppliers from selling the same product through other outlets. Even the large ebook publishers wouldn’t agree to selling their titles exclusively on iBooks and forego all other competing ebook markets.

  2. Compared to actual marketshare that the other companies have, the only thing that Apple has a large marketshare of is their bank account. That’s the real reason for Apple’s inclusion. And, btw, Cook is wrong. Size, in and of itself, should not be a reason for “government scrutiny”… which is nothing than bureaucratese for “how can we intimidate people to get them to accede to State demands.”

  3. While all these government workers may be using Windows Computers at their offices I’ll bet that a lot of them have chosen to use Apple products at home. Can you see their teenage kids begging for an LG “smart phone”?

    And look at the Federal Government in their general attitudes towards Apple Products. The FAA authorized the Apple iPad to replace the Flight Bags that Pilots used to drag onto their airplanes. The FDA rapidly approved EEG on the Watch with subtle motivations to continue innovating.

    Unless the Government can show differently maybe Apple can complain that Windows has a monopoly in government offices. Oooops!

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