Apple CEO Tim Cook personally called U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress to ask for a delay in considering new antitrust legislation proposals that seek to undo tech giants’ market dominance, according to The New York Times.
The antitrust bills were rushed, he said. They would crimp innovation. And they would hurt consumers by disrupting the services that power Apple’s lucrative iPhone, Mr. Cook cautioned at various points, according to five people with knowledge of the conversations.
U.S. House lawmakers this month debuted sweeping bipartisan antitrust legislation in the form of six different bills aimed at major tech companies like Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google. The legislation targets the companies’ market power in the areas of online commerce, advertising, media, and entertainment. One piece of legislation in particular, the non-discrimination bill, would prevent Apple from blocking users from deleting pre-installed apps.
Pelosi reportedly pushed back against Cook’s concerns about the proposed legislation, and challenged the Apple chief to “identify specific policy objections to the measures”.
Cook is also said to have spoken with other unnamed members of Congress to “deliver a warning” on the repercussions of the proposed antitrust legislation, should it pass into law.
The report says Apple and other tech companies are paying lobbying groups to communicate to lawmakers their vehement opposition to the bills, arguing there will be dire consequences for the industry and the country if the proposals become law.
Morgan Reed, the president of the App Association, a trade organization sponsored by Apple and other tech and telecom companies, said in a letter to lawmakers on Tuesday that breaking up platforms and “limiting the services they can provide for our member companies would harm your constituents.”
The bills would apply to businesses that have a market capitalization of $600 billion and at least 50 million monthly active users in the United States.
If passed, they would overhaul competition laws that have not been revisited for decades and would lead to significant changes in the tech industry. The House Judiciary Committee is expected review the five bills at a hearing on Wednesday.
Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.