Antitrust hearing: Apple CEO Tim Cook defends App Store business model

He denies a dominant position for the app marketplace. The cartel committee of the House of Representatives also interviewed the bosses of Amazon, Facebook and Google. At least the committee chairman believes that the industry needs more regulation.

Apple-CEO Tim Cook defended the Apple App Store business model at a hearing before the US House of Representatives cartel committee. The commissions that Apple charges developers who sell their apps in the marketplace are no different from those of the competition. He also rejected the accusation that Apple has a dominant position in the mobile app market.

App Store: (Image: Apple)In a statement published before the hearing, Cook denies a dominant market position also with regard to the Apple smartphone iPhone. “The smartphone market is very competitive, and companies like SamsungLG Huawei and Google have built very successful smartphone businesses that offer different approaches. “

According to Cook, the app store started with a range of 500 apps. In the meantime, users could choose between 1.7 million products, of which only 60 were from Apple. “If Apple is a gatekeeper, then we have clearly opened the door further. We want to bring every app we can get into the store and not keep it away. ”

However, the skepticism of the US parliamentarians is not directed against Apple’s own offer in the App Store, but the fact that around 1.5 billion iOS devices that are active worldwide can only get apps from one source: the Apple App Store.

In addition to Cook, the CEOs of Amazon, Facebook and Google asked MPs’ questions. The Google boss was asked about his company’s handling of user data and the acquisitions of YouTube and DoubleClick. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, however, had to defend himself against allegations that his company was copying goods from other suppliers with its own private label products.

Democratic MP David Cilline, chairman of the cartel committee, drew a rather negative balance after the six-hour survey. “This hearing made a fact clear to me,” said Cilline. “These companies, as they exist today, have a monopoly power. Some have to be smashed, all have to be properly regulated and held accountable. ”

However, the House’s investigation also has a political dimension. Mainly Republican representatives like Jim Jordan from the US state of Ohio throw Twitter and Facebook claim to discriminate against conservative politicians, the media and opinions. Google is said to have supported the democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election campaign. “I just get to the point. Big tech is after the conservatives. “

It is undisputed that Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have to be seen as “heavyweights” in the technology sector. Their combined market value is around $ 5 trillion. For example, Facebook has as many users as China and India together have residents. Amazon, in turn, controls 38 percent of US online retail – more than six times as much as its biggest competitor, Walmart. Apple in turn controls the App Store, which is the only way for developers to sell apps to owners of iPhones and iPads. Finally, Google processes around 90 percent of all Internet search queries worldwide.

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