Five Key Tim Cook Quotes From Big Tech’s Big Hearing

Tim Cook at antitrust hearing

Tim Cook received noticeably fewer questions that his fellow tech CEOs and Wednesday’s antitrust hearing. However, he was still involved in some key moments.

Apple Has ‘Opened The Gate Wider’

Unsurprisingly, Mr. Cook was keen to standby the previously used defense that Apple treats all developers the same and offers them all the same opportunity. “If Apple is a gatekeeper, what we have done is open the gate wider,” he said.

App Store Created an ‘Economic Miracle

In a similar vein, the Apple CEO told lawmakers that “It’s an economic miracle that the ‌App Store‌ allows a person in their basement to start a company and serve 170 countries in the world.” Hed continued: “I believe it’s the highest job creator in the last decade.”

Tim Cook at antitrust hearing
Apple CEO Tim Cook appearing (virtually) before the House Antitrust Subcommittee

Highlighting Education

Mr. Cook was also keen to emphasize Apple’s contribution in the education space and how that has helped during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re proud of what we’ve done in education,” he said. “We’re serving that market in a significant way. We will work with people who move from a physical to virtual world because of the pandemic.”

Responding to the ‘Hey’ App Controversy

In a slight deviation from the talking points, Mr. Cook tackled the Hey email app controversy directly. “Hey is in the ‌App Store‌ today and we’re happy that they’re there,” he said. “I believe they have a version of their product for free so they’re not paying anything on that. I would also say that the 15 or 30 percent is for lots of different services, compilers, programming languages, APIs, etc.”

Keep Kids Safe by Removing Some Parental Control Apps

Another controversy that the Apple CEO responded to surrounding the removal of parental control apps from the App Store, following Apple releasing its in-house Screen Time feature. “We were worried about the safety of kids,” Mr. Cook said, referencing Apple’s insistence that the apps in questions used Mobile Device Management and put children’s privacy in jeopardy.

[Tim Cook to Antitrust Hearing: ‘Apple Does Not Have a Dominant Market Share’]

2 thoughts on “Five Key Tim Cook Quotes From Big Tech’s Big Hearing

  • @john-kheit: Apart from TC, I saw some hits, some palpable hits. 
    Indeed, Pichai and the Zuck left blood on the floor. Methinks I spied more than one Member chewing on said butt cheeks.
    As for Bezos, he stayed on his feet despite serious body blows, so we can’t rule out internal bleeding. 
    Great list and summary. 
    I managed to arrange my lunch around the hearings, so observed a good bit. I could not avoid that child’s game playing in my head, ‘One of these is not like the others’. My initial thought was that what brought Apple to the table was their market cap as the most valuable publicly traded company on the planet, and that, in every market in which they compete, despite their minority share, they tend to rake in a plurality if not the bulk of the profits. My wife, the attorney, who used to work on Capitol Hill, beginning with being a staffer for the Oversight Subcommittee, explained rather that it would likely have to do with alleged anti-competitive behaviour, featuring their services, like the App Store. She nailed it. 
    Apple primarily appeared to be accused of quashing competition by banning apps and then selling their own versions, as with parental control apps, which as you’ve captured, TC explained relied on Mobile Device Management, which could lead to child tracking.  
    Clearly, some developers have complained about the App Store policies, specifically the 30% ‘Apple tax’. It provided Cook an opportunity explain that this applied to only 16% of App Store volume, and only applied to apps on a renewal plan and only for the first year, after which they go to 15% – and he could explain what those fees covered. 
    The other two categories of concern that I noted were: 1) potential price gouging for connectivity apps during the pandemic, which was a non-starter; and 2) and high pricing for educational related apps (another non-starter). One Member repeatedly ask TC if Apple could levy fees on the other 84% of apps and even increase those fees. I recall TC’s expression as he tried to explain that that would be contrary to Apple’s own business interests to drive developers away, who do have other market options. For that matter, yes, I can drown my daughter’s cat (which is now really the family cat), and throw my daughter out on the street if she complains about it, but…why? And, exactly how does that contribute to a happy household? The question was bizarre. 
    I chalk much of this up to poor background research and investigation. Even if Apple’s App Store conducted its affairs one way, in a free market, that should be assumed to be independent of how Google runs Google Play, etc. 
    As for the surveillance capitalists and the mega market, they made an excellent case for regulation; but despite the word being used in the wrap up summary, not so much for being broken up. Acquisitions that violate antitrust law, perhaps like FB’s acquisition of Instagram, if proved, would be less of a breakup than a hostage liberation. 

  • I have to give cook credit. He was magnificent. This is the first time I thought he was the best person for the job. Teflon. Nothing touched him. He had good cards to play but he played them perfectly. Zuck was a disaster. Zuck had ok cards but played them poorly. Google had awful cards and played them meh. Google got hit and is going to have trouble. Amazon had meh cards but bezos did pretty well. They may skate by.

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