Apple Rejects Findings of Democrat Staff Antitrust Report

U.S. Capitol Building

Apple hit out at a report from Democrat staff to the U.S. House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, released Tuesday, that found it has “monopoly power.” The company said it “vehemently disagree[s]” with the findings.

‘Scrappy Underdogs’ Have Become ‘Oil Barons And Railroad Tycoons’

Lawmakers have been looking into the positions of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google for 16-months. This included a high-profile appearance from the firms’ CEOS in July. The report said that “that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons.”

Elsewhere, it said that “over the past decade, once-competitive mobile operating systems like Nokia, BlackBerry, and Microsoft struggled to survive as Apple and Google grew more dominant, eventually exiting the marketplace altogether.”

Regarding the App Store specifically, the Democratic staff concluded:

Apple has not produced any evidence that the App Store is not the sole means of distributing apps on iOS devices and that it does not exert monopoly power over app distribution.

As CNBC noted, Republicans objected to some of the more stringent proposals in the report.

Tim Cook at antitrust hearing Apple Rejects Findings of Antitrust Subcomittee Staff Report

Apple, it’s fair to say, does not agree with those findings. In a statement given to Macrumors, the company said:

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.

2 thoughts on “Apple Rejects Findings of Democrat Staff Antitrust Report

  • Since the committee brought up oil, imagine if the only place you could buy gasoline was at BP. _That_ would be a monopoly. Now, imagine going to Exxon and insisting that they provide you with BP gasoline, now that would be absurd. Now imagine the government forcing Exxon to sell you BP gasoline. That would be the most absurd of all, but this is what this committee is proposing, it would seem.

    The most personal device I own is my phone. It has my most important and intimate information, including bank info, health info, etc. I _left_ the Android ecosystem because I became convinced that Google and my phone manufacturers, nor the app developers were doing anything to protect, that, and were, in fact, actively attempting to exploit that information for their own purposes.

    I chose the iPhone, because of Apple’s strict controls in the app store, and because they make their money selling me cool products, and because their reputation is staked on protecting my privacy, rather than on monetizing my info (to provide me “convenient” shopping or relevant ads–as if).

    What the Congress seems to be proposing is a destruction of this relationship between Apple and me, and I don’t know in what world view this would be deemed morally justifiable. Just because Epic wants a bigger slice of the pie?

  • Charlotte:
    If the US Congress want to change the definition of monopoly to mean total control over your own service, irrespective of market share or market dominance, then for the industry, ‘Monopolies all round!’ , and for the US legislature, ‘A plague o’both your houses!’ (Romeo and Juliet, Act III, Scene 1). 

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