Tim CookSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Tim Wu has joined the White House as part of the National Economic Council.
  • Wu is known as a staunch critic of big tech, indicating Joe Biden may be setting his sights on companies like Apple.

A staunch critic of big tech, Tim Wu, has joined the White House as part of the National Economic Council, in a move that could spell trouble for Apple.

With antitrust suits raging around Apple, its App Store, and how developers distribute software on iPhone 12, the move is being painted by some that President Joe Biden has his sights set on big tech. From NYT:

President Biden on Friday named Tim Wu, a Columbia University law professor, to the National Economic Council on Friday as a special assistant to the president for technology and competition policy, putting one of the most outspoken critics of Big Tech's power into the administration.

The appointment of Mr. Wu, 48, who is widely supported by progressive Democrats and antimonopoly groups, suggests that the administration plans to take on the size and influence of companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, including working with Congress on legislation to strengthen antitrust laws. During his campaign, Mr. Biden said he would be open to breaking up tech companies.

As the report notes, Wu has previously commented on the concentration of economic power, even authoring a book in 2018 titled The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age. No company exudes more 'bigness' than Apple right now, so it's fair to say that Wu's introduction could spell trouble for the company.

VPN Deals: Lifetime license for $16, monthly plans at $1 & more

Wu's focus will reportedly be on competition policy, a new role within the council. Commenting on Wu's introduction, Senator Elizabeth Warren said she was "glad" to see him in the role, and said, "Tim has been a longtime antitrust advocate, and he has pushed public officials to break up and rein in Big Tech."

Apple is currently fighting a massive antitrust lawsuit against Epic Games, expected to go to trial in May. Elsewhere, it faces antitrust scrutiny in the EU and specific countries like the UK.