Apple is Acting Like a Monopolist and Bully, Says Chairman of the House Antitrust Subcommittee

Apple is Acting Like a Monopolist and Bully, Says Chairman of the House Antitrust Subcommittee

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Apple is acting like a monopolist and bully says Congressman David Cicilline, Chairman of the House Antitrust Subcommittee.

Cicilline joined The Vergecast along with Basecamp CTO David Heinemeier to discuss Apple's threat to remove the company's email app 'Hey' from the App Store. Apple is demanding the subscription app implement a way to sign up for the service in-app, giving the company a 30% cut of those signups.

“Because of the market power that Apple has, it is charging exorbitant rents — highway robbery, basically — bullying people to pay 30 percent or denying access to their market,” said Rep. Cicilline. “It’s crushing small developers who simply can’t survive with those kinds of payments. If there were real competition in this marketplace, this wouldn’t happen.”

Cicilline noted that many developers and companies have now come forward to say they are terrified of economic repercussions of taking a stand against Apple.

“No one has a choice,” added Heinemeier Hansson. “Everyone is petrified... and then I understood. If you’re a publicly traded company, you cannot afford this. You cannot afford to file your earnings and say, ‘Oh, we just lost 50 percent of revenue last quarter because we had a spat with Apple.’ And if you’re a small developer, you can’t afford this literally because you will go broke — you will lose your house if they kick you out of the App Store.”

Notably, the drama surrounding 'Hey' occurred just after the European Commission opened a formal antitrust investigation into the App Store. That investigation was initiated due to complaints from Spotify and other developers.

The Antitrust Subcommittee has asked Tim Cook and other tech CEOs to testify before the committee as part of an investigation into allegation the tech giants have unfairly stifled competitors and harmed consumers. Politico reports that Facebook, Google and Amazon CEOs have signalled a willingness to testify — but only jointly, and only if Apple comes too. So far Cook has not agreed to testify.

You can listen to the The Vergecast episode at the link below. Please download the iClarified app or follow iClarified on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and RSS for updates.

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Apple is Acting Like a Monopolist and Bully, Says Chairman of the House Antitrust Subcommittee

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