What you need to know
- Tim Cook will testify to a House antitrust committee today, Wednesday, July 29.
- His opening statement has been released in advance.
- Cook will tell the committee that if Apple is a gatekeeper to the App Store, it has opened the gate wider to developers.
Apple CEO Tim Cook will tell a House Subcommittee on Antitrust that if Apple is a gatekeeper to the App Store, then it has opened the gate wider to developers, in his opening remarks later today.
Cook's full opening statement can be read in advance of the hearing, where he will testify remotely alongside the CEOs of Google, Facebook, and Amazon on competition in the tech industry.
In his statement, Cook begins by honoring the life and legacy of the late Congressman John Lewis, saying "I feel fortunate to hail from a state and a country that benefitted profoundly from his leadership."
Cook will remind the committee of Apple's entrenched mission to enrich people's lives through technology, something it believes it can only do by making "the best and not the most." Highlighting the iPhone as "one such" revolutionary product, he will tell the committee that Apple's seamless integration of hardware and software, user experiences, design simplicity, and high-quality ecosystem is "essential to why they (customers) choose Apple."
Touching on the matter at hand, he will remind them that Apple "does not have a dominant market share in any market where we do business". Describing the App Store as a "revolutionary alternative" to brick-and-mortar software sales, Cook will note how developers set their own prices for their apps "and never pay for shelf space.
The statement goes on to reference the App Store's high-quality user experience, the store's transparency, and the fact that guidelines are applied equally to all developers of all sizes and categories. It further mentions how the vast majority (around 84%) of developers pay no money to Apple through the App Store.
Whilst the statement says "scrutiny is reasonable and appropriate", it notes that Apple makes "no concession on the facts."
Cook will answer questions from the committee alongside Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, and Jeff Bezos. The hearing will be live-streamed at 12 pm Eastern Time.