Tim Cook agrees to testify before Congress in antitrust probe

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Tim Cook goes to Washington
Apple chief Tim Cook will testify before Congress, and he’ll be joined by the CEOs of Amazon, Facebook and Google.
Screenshot: Apple

The CEOs of four of biggest tech firms will testify in the House of Representatives’s probe into antitrust activities. That includes Apple’s Tim Cook, along with the heads of Amazon, Facebook and Google.

This is part of an ongoing investigation by the House Judiciary Committee into whether the largest tech companies play fair with smaller competitors.

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app-store
Complaints about App Store have gained momentum recently.
Photo: Apple

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Microsoft Windows
Microsoft went through its own antitrust case in the early 2000s.
Photo: Microsoft

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Tim Cook called for Ohio State University grads to embrace hope in a fearful time during his virtual commencement address.
Apple CEO Tim Cook apparently doesn’t want to testify to the U.S. Congress on antitrust issues.
Photo: Ohio State University

Apple comes out swinging against antitrust investigation, blasts companies that ‘want a free ride’

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Apple.logo.paris.store
The Apple logo outside the Paris, France Apple Store.
Photo: Josh Davidson for Cult of Mac

Apple says that it is disappointed to be targeted in two new antitrust investigations by the European Union. The two antitrust investigations, into both the App Store and Apple Pay, were announced Tuesday.

“It’s disappointing the European Commission is advancing baseless complaints from a handful of companies who simply want a free ride, and don’t want to play by the same rules as everyone else,” Apple told Reuters in a statement. “We don’t think that’s right — we want to maintain a level playing field where anyone with determination and a great idea can succeed.”

Apple faces more antitrust scrutiny in Europe, this time over e-books

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Kobo
Kobo's e-book app is available through the App Store.
Photo: Rakuten

Apple faces another antitrust complaint in the European Union, this time from Japanese tech company Rakuten. The anti-competition complaint relates to Apple’s e-book business, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.

In response, the EU opened an official investigation into the App Store. On Tuesday, EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the government will scrutinize Cupertino’s business practices. “We need to ensure that Apple’s rules do not distort competition in markets where Apple is competing with other app developers, for example with its music streaming service Apple Music or with Apple Books,” Vestager said. “I have therefore decided to take a close look at Apple’s App Store rules and their compliance with EU competition rules.”

French watchdog fines Apple $1.2 billion for anti-competitive behavior; Apple to appeal

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Anti-robocall bill is one step closer to being passed into law
France's antitrust watchdog made the ruling on damages.
Photo: rawpixel.com/Pexels CC

France’s competition watchdog announced on Monday it has fined Apple 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) for reportedly violating antitrust laws, the biggest antitrust fine it has ever levied.

The French watchdog accuses Apple of exhibiting anti-competitive behavior through its distribution network, including reported abuse of the economic dependence of its resellers. The company plans to appeal.

Apple, Spotify and other streaming companies accused of price-fixing ‘conspiracy’

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Music licensing company takes aim at Apple Music for illegal streaming
PRM thinks music streaming companies are playing dirty.
Photo: Stas Knop/Pexels CC

A music licensing company accuses Apple, Spotify, Google, SoundCloud, and other streaming services of entering into a price-fixing “conspiracy” to keep streaming music prices at anticompetitive levels.

Pro Music Rights (PMR) filed the complaint Monday with the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. PMR previously filed a lawsuit against Apple in December for allegedly streaming copyrighted music without the necessary permissions.

FTC wants to know if any of Apple’s smaller acquisitions could be anticompetitive

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Elizabeth Warren chimes in on allegedly discriminatory Apple Card algorithm
Presidential nominee Elizabeth Warren has said that tech giants like Apple have too much power.
Photo: elizabethwarren.com

The Federal Trade Commission wants tech giants, including Apple, to give more information about previous mergers and acquisitions considered too small to report to antitrust regulators.

The move comes as Justice Department, FTC, state attorneys general and the House Judiciary Committee ramp up investigations into big tech. Politicians have accused tech giants of using their size and power to illegally defend market share or move into new areas.