Apple CEO Tim Cook lobbied U.S. Senator Ted Cruz for 40 minutes about antitrust bills

Apple CEO Tim Cook lobbied U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for 40 minutes on Wednesday about antitrust legislation to be debated the next day.

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook

The lengthy phone call from Apple’s CEO directly to a U.S. Senator on the key Senate committee considering changes to antitrust law shows just how important the company considers the specifics of the planned reforms.

Kif Leswing for CNBC:

The American Innovation and Online Choice Act is intended to prevent dominant tech platforms from favoring their own products over others. The Senate Judiciary Committee, on which Cruz serves, voted 16-6 on a bipartisan basis to advance the bill to the full Senate on Thursday.

If passed as written, one legal reform would require Apple to permit sideloading, or the ability for users to install apps without going through Apple’s App Store, allowing app makers to avoid the App Store’s 15% to 30% fees…

Cruz said that Cook expressed concern that the American Innovation and Choice Online Act could prevent Apple from improving its products by preventing the company from implementing privacy and security features. “I spent about 40 minutes on the phone [Wednesday] with Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, who expressed significant concerns about the bill,” the senator said.

“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.

An Apple representative declined to comment on Cook’s call with Cruz, but the senator’s account of Cook’s concerns is similar to a letter Apple sent to the Senate committee earlier this week, in which the company said that if iPhone users and consumers were allowed to install software directly from the internet, it could lead to a wave of malware.

MacDailyNews Take: Cook’s entreaty didn’t seem to work as Cruz was among five Republicans who voted with the Democrats to advance the bill out of the committee.

Regardless, The Cowen Washington Research Group said that despite the committee’s 16-6 vote to approve the measure, enough of its supporters expressed reservations that it had less than a 50% chance of becoming law.

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4 Comments

  1. Apple is NOT a monopoly, not even close. They are a closed system with massive 3rd party access. No Government intervention is required.

    A car is a close system with some 3rd party access, or hack and ruin at your own risk.
    A TV is a closed system with some 3rd party access and solutions.
    An iPhone is a close system with an array of 3rd party choices and access.

    Apple is not a monopoly, they have closed systems – that aren’t even totally closed. And if people don’t want that solution, they have dozens of options to choose from.

    1. Say it louder in hopes of finding truth. The iOS ecosystem is a market unto itself. One that Apple makes, but does not entirely own. They don’t own the devices and they don’t own the 3rd party Apps. They do own 100% of the stores.

      There are technical and business barriers to entry, So yes, 100% monopoly, especially in Stores.

  2. Agreement per monopoly.

    Apple’s problems are; knee-bending relationship with China, continued encroachment on their own customers and Cook’s destructive/distracting impulses to use the Apple platform to proclaim his ideologies.

    It’s the 2nd point that concerns me most. We are data and Apple is capturing it, albeit slower…but it is apparent and irritating. Ideally, we are NOT data.

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