Tim Cook defends Apple and its App Store at U.S. House antitrust hearing

Tim Cook at the iPhone 11 Pro event
Tim Cook at the iPhone 11 Pro event (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Tim Cook testified at today's congressional hearing on antitrust.
  • The CEO primarily answered questions about the App Store.
  • Cook was also asked about if Apple competes unfairly against similar apps.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, along with the CEOs of Facebook, Google, and Amazon, answered questions from Congress as part of its antitrust hearing today. The questions primarily focused on Apple's App Store practices and if Apple competed unfairly against apps that were similar to its own.

When asked about Apple's App Store policies, Cook defended the company, stressing that its policies apply to all developers and that it has not raised the fees that exist for developers since the store was launched.

"We treat every developers the same. We have open and transparent rules - it's a rigorous process. Because we care so deeply about privacy and security and quality, we do look at every at every app before it goes on but those rules apply evenly to everyone."

Cook was also asked specifically about parental control apps that it had removed from the App Store. Cook said that the apps raised privacy concerns for children's data, which led Apple to remove those apps and create its own parental control features that ensured data privacy. When pressed about the issue, Cook pointed out that parental control apps still exist in the App Store and compete with their own functionality.

"The use of technology called MDM (Mobile Device Management) placed kid's data at risk, and so we were worried about the safety of kids ... There's over 30 parental control (apps) on the App Store today, so there's plenty of competition in this area."

Cook's testimony to Congress comes the day before the company will hold its shareholder meeting to go over its financial performance for the third quarter of 2020.

You can watch the full testimony of Cook and the other CEOs before Congress below:

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.