Apple agreed to halve its App Store fee for Amazon so the company would bring its Prime Video app to iOS and Apple TV, emails reveal (.pdf).
Apple exec Eddy Cue and Amazon boss Jeff Bezos personally negotiated the deal in 2016, it was revealed during Wednesday’s antitrust hearing looking into tech giants’ business practices. They agreed that Apple would get a 15% revenue cut from day one for customers who signed up through the app. Apple normally gets a 30% cut for the first year of an app’s subscription. It then claims a 15% commission for subsequent years.
Apple CEO Tim Cook mostly avoided questioning during Wednesday’s historic congressional antitrust hearing on the business practices of Big Tech.
Cook took only a handful of questions from the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee. Lawmakers directed most of their questioning — which capped a year-long investigation into antitrust issues — at Cook’s fellow CEOs from Facebook, Google and Amazon.
Apple CEO Tim Cook defended App Store business practices and said his company treats all software developers equally as he faced questioning Wednesday in front of the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee.
Cook said it’s in Apple’s best interest to treat devs fairly. The company wants the best and brightest to write iOS apps, he said, because killer software proves essential for a company engaged in a “street fight for market share in the smartphone business.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook will argue that his company does not dominate any market in which it does business when he appears before the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee Wednesday, according to his opening statement released ahead of time (.pdf).
While Cook will say that “scrutiny is reasonable and appropriate,” he will assert that Apple refuses to make “concession on the facts” by agreeing that it is a monopoly. If anything, Cook will argue that Apple is no gatekeeper, but, through the App Store, has actually opened the gate to developers.
When the CEOs of Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google take questions Wednesday from the U.S. House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, they likely will face intense scrutiny of their companies’ business practices. But just how tough will the questioning get?
Scott Galloway, a NYU Stern School of Business marketing professor who wrote the best-selling book The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, thinks he knows what Congress will ask the executives. In a new article, Galloway laid out the questions Apple CEO Tim Cook and the others should expect.
Does the voice data harvested by voice assistants like Siri give tech giants an unfair marketplace advantage? Lawmakers in Europe are currently pondering that exact question.
A European Commission investigation into the matter will look at whether this data is being used to stifle competition and maintain the position of companies like Apple and Amazon in the marketplace. This most notably relates to the rapidly expanding constellation of smart, connected devices.
Apple took the defense of its App Store practices directly to its consumers, launching a new web page as it prepares for a court battle over accusations claiming the company has monopolistic control over iOS apps.
The page appeared this morning on Apple’s website with the title “App Store, Principles and Practices.”