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Apple Agrees To Send Witness to App Hearing

Capitol Hill
(Image credit: Gary Arlen)

After some prompting, Apple has agreed to send a witness to an April hearing in the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee on app stores and competition in mobile aps. Google has also agreed to send a witness.

That is according to Committee chair Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and ranking member Mike Lee (R-Utah).

An April 21 hearing date has been set.

Also Read: Apple Privacy Labels Draw Flak

Klobuchar and Lee had sent a letter Friday (April 9) criticizing Apple for initially deciding not to send a witness--the legislators used the term "withhold"--and asked CEO Tim Cook to "change course."

It is no surprise Apple was reluctant given the tenor of the hearing, if Klobuchar's description in a statement is any indication: “This hearing will explore whether Apple and Google are using their power as gatekeepers to charge high fees and impose restrictions that suppress competition in mobile applications and related markets, and both companies‘ participation in the hearing is necessary.”

Lee said he was glad Apple changed its mind, saying it was essential for Apple to make a "good faith effort" to better protect and promote competition.

In their letter, they had pointed out that Apple had been willing to discuss the issue in other forums and said its refusal to do so in their hearing was "unacceptable," elaborating on just how many times Apple has been willing to weigh in. 

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.