One prominent tech investor has written to CEO Tim Cook urging the company to rethink its approach to antitrust cases and regulators. Roger McNamee had his letter published by Time.
Unless Apple rethinks its approach, regulators will likely have no choice but to undermine its advantage in privacy and security. As a customer, that will piss me off. As an activist trying to reform the tech industry, it will leave me wondering what might have been. I would like to suggest a path to a better outcome. Apple is no longer the plucky upstart it was when Steve Jobs returned two decades ago. The company has a market value bigger than the GDP of all but eight countries in the world. In the trailing four quarters, your firm enjoyed a tax rate of about 14%, which has attracted the attention of Senator Warren, among others, who believe it is too low. Apple has huge economic power, which it uses for competitive advantage. Some of the victims of that economic power are fighting back, not unreasonably, and Apple’s brand with policy makers has taken a beating. The company’s reaction? One of surprise and resentment, which is not working. The time has come to change Apple’s approach.