Apple CEO Tim Cook, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Alphabet/Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will all attend an antitrust hearing before the U.S. House Judiciary’s antitrust subcommittee on Monday as part of an ongoing antitrust investigation into digital competition. Prior to the hearing, the committee met with Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer.
The committee wanted to talk to Smith so that he, who had previously been involved in antitrust oversight of Windows, could “provide Microsoft’s perspective as a big technology company,” but Smith also reportedly shared Microsoft’s concerns about the way Apple runs the App Store.
Topics covered in the conversation included the Apple App Store approval process, Apple’s 30 percent split from app purchases and subscriptions, and the rationality of forcing developers to use Apple’s in-app purchase system.
At an event in June, Mr Smith made a similar point, saying it was time for regulators to look at the app store.
“The demands they impose increasingly indicate that there is only one way to get into our platform, and that is through its custom gates. In some cases, they create very high prices for each charge – in some cases, 30% of your income must be handed in. “
“It’s time — whether we’re talking about Washington, D.C., or Brussels — about the nature of the app store, the rules being developed, the prices and the ‘tolls’ that are being drawn, and the reasons for dealing with antitrust laws.”
Microsoft distributes multiple apps in Apple’s App Store, and for any customer who subscribes to its Office 365 service through the Apple platform, it pays Apple 15 to 30 percent.
Tim Cook and other technology company CEOs will testify at an antitrust hearing on Monday, July 27, at 12 p.m. EST, and YouTube will broadcast live.