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App Store
The App Store might have to become a separate company from Apple.
Photo: James Yarema/Unsplash CC

Draft antitrust bills could take aim at tech giants like Apple

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Tim Cook congressional antitrust hearing: Should Tim Cook be worried about Congress breaking up Apple?
Tim Cook testified as part of an antitrust investigation.
Photo: C-SPAN

Efforts to regulate Big Tech continue with Democrats currently circulating drafts of antitrust bills that could affect the likes of Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google.

While there is every possibility that these draft bills morph over time, the biggest way they would currently affect Apple is by curtailing its ability to operate an app marketplace. This feeds into growing criticism about Apple’s control of the App Store, which has been the subject of investigation around the world.

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Are Apple App Privacy labels correct enough to be useful?
Congress wants to know if Apple can confirm the accuracy of App Privacy labels like this one.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Congress may scrutinize Apple’s ‘copy-acquire-kill’ strategy

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Tim Cook goes to Washington
This is one of the questions Tim Cook could field tomorrow.
Screenshot: Apple

Lawmakers reportedly will quiz Apple on its “copy-acquire-kill” strategy during Wednesday’s congressional antitrust hearing.

According to the Washington Post, this will be one of the areas that Apple will be scrutinized on to see if it has engaged in anti-competitive behavior. “Copy-acquire-kill” refers to buying companies to acquire their innovative features, before killing them to stop other platforms from having access to them.

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TikTok continues to dominate the App Store in 2020.
Congress is worried that apps could pose a security weakness.
Photo: Kon Karampelas/Unsplash CC

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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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

New lobbyist group will support the interests of smaller app developers

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app-store
Lobbyist group will act as an independent organization.
Photo: Apple

A group of app developers have set up a new lobbyist association called the App Coalition. This independent group will lobby Congress regarding issues relating to app developers.

A Bloomberg report, published Wednesday, notes that nine mobile app developers have banded together for the new organization. The new lobbying group is distinct from the App Association, already sponsored by Apple, Microsoft, and others.

Congress might give law enforcement a ‘backdoor’ into encrypted messages

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Know how to hard-lock your iPhone in a hurry.
Congress might use child abuse as an excuse to weaken the encryption in Apple Messages and similar apps.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

No one could protest legislation aimed at curbing child sex abuse, but a bill that reportedly will be introduced soon in the US Congress could have much wider consequences. One result might be a legally mandated requirement that messaging services have a “backdoor” so that law enforcement can read all encrypted messages.

US Senator proposes new law aimed at limiting Apple data flow to China

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China
Tim Cook meeting with China's vice premier.
Photo: Tim Cook

One of tech’s biggest opponents in Washington D.C. proposed a new bill this week that could have huge implications on Apple and TikTok’s business operations if put into law.

GOP senator Josh Hawley from Missouri introduced legislation today that would prevent the Chinese company that owns TikTok from collecting information on American users and sharing it with the Communist Party of China. The bill would also stop American companies like Apple from storing user data in China.