Apple Agrees to Provide Executive to Testify At Upcoming App Store Senate Hearing

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Apple has agreed to provide its chief compliance officer, Kyle Andeer, to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel for a hearing on anti-competitive practices for mobile app stores on April 21, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.

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Earlier this week, Apple refused to provide an executive for the hearing around anti-competitive practices on online stores. In a letter obtained by Bloomberg News, Apple says that it has deep respect for the role and job of the subcommittee and that it was simply seeking alternative dates for the hearing due to its coming trial with Epic Games, also about the App Store.

“We have deep respect for your role and process on these matters and, as we told your staff, we are willing to participate in a hearing in the subcommittee,” Apple said. “We simply sought alternative dates in light of upcoming matters that have been scheduled for some time and that touch on similar issues.”

The U.S Senate subcommittee is focused on investigating claims that Apple and Google participate in anti-competitive practices for their respective online app marketplaces and distribution platforms. In a letter addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Senator Amy Klobuchar and Senator Mike Lee say that Apple’s control and power over apps on its device warrant a “full and fair examination.”

More than half of internet traffic comes through mobile phones, whose users rely on mobile applications to access online content and services—and the vast majority of mobile apps are downloaded from either Apple’s ‌App Store‌ or Google’s Play Store. Apple’s power over the cost, distribution, and availability of mobile applications on the Apple devices used by millions of consumers raises serious competition issues that are of interest to the Subcommittee, consumers, and app developers. A full and fair examination of these issues before the Subcommittee requires Apple’s participation.

Google had previously already agreed to provide a witness but declined to specify who would represent the company at the hearing.

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