Apple CEO Tim Cook has agreed to testify as part of a US House Judiciary Committee antitrust probe later this month. Cook is the latest of the four largest tech companies CEOs to agree to testify during the antitrust hearing, following Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.
Kara Swisher first reported the news on Twitter, following an interview with House antitrust panel chairman Representative David Cicilline (D-RI). Other details on the specifics of this session are still unclear, other than that it will take place later this month.
The goal of the bipartisan congressional probe is to find out whether tech giants capitalize on their size to give themselves an unfair advantage over smaller companies, and whether these decisions affect consumers. In Apple’s case, the concerns generally center on the cut the company takes from App Store sales and in-app payments and subscriptions.
Cicilline has been one of the most vocal critics of big technology companies over the last several years. For example, Cicilline last year explained that he’s concerned that Apple could be using its first stance on protecting user privacy “as a shield for competitive behavior. Furthermore, just a few weeks ago, Cicilline said in an interview that the market power Apple holds has become nothing short of “highway robbery.”
As we reported just last month, Cook was facing increasing pressure to testify at the hearing, especially given that Amazon, Facebook, and Google leadership had all agreed to face questions. In the past, Apple representatives, such as chief compliance officer Kyle Andeer, have testified during congressional hearings on anti-competitive concerns.
We should learn more about Cook’s plans to testify at the hearing soon. Notably, this news comes just a week after a report indicated that an Apple antitrust probe in the United States in imminent and that two new antitrust cases into Apple started in Europe.
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