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Senators Call Apple's Refusal to Testify at App Hearing 'Unacceptable'

Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Image credit: N/A)

The bipartisan leadership of the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee have written Apple CEO Tim Cook telling him the company needs to send a witness to its upcoming hearing on mobile app competition and app stores.

In their letter, Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and ranking member Mike Lee (R-Utah) said that the company has known for weeks that the subcommittee was planning an April hearing--it has yet to be scheduled--and was even in discussions about who it would send when "a little more than two weeks [16 days] before the planned hearing, Apple abruptly declared that it would not provide any witness," they said.

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

"Earlier this year, Apple provided witnesses to testify before the North Dakota Senate and the Arizona House of Representatives to oppose state bills that would regulate the very same conduct that the Subcommittee intends to explore," they wrote. "You testified before the House Antitrust Subcommittee regarding these same issues last year. And on the exact day Apple informed the Subcommittee that it would not provide a witness for an April hearing, the New York Times released a podcast interview in which you discuss competition issues relating to Apple’s App Store, including Apple’s pending litigation with Epic Games."

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They urged Cook to reverse course and send someone.

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.