Apple agrees to send a top executive to testify before the Senate on app store competition concerns

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Sen. Amy Klobuchar, (D-MN) speaks during the 4th time of the confirmation proceeding for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett earlier the Senate Judiciary Committee connected Capitol Hill successful Washington, DC, October 15, 2020.

Susan Walsh | Pool | Reuters

Apple has agreed to nonstop a apical enforcement to attest earlier the Senate Judiciary subcommittee connected antitrust aft starring senators pressed the institution to marque 1 disposable to sermon contention concerns with its app store.

In a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook connected Friday, subcommittee seat Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and ranking subordinate Mike Lee, R-Utah, wrote astir Apple's "refusal to supply a witnesser to attest successful a timely manner." They said they "strongly impulse Apple to reconsider its position."

Apple responded connected Sunday successful a missive obtained by CNBC and archetypal reported by Bloomberg, agreeing to nonstop Chief Compliance Officer Kyle Andeer to attest connected April 21. Timothy Powderly, elder manager of authorities affairs for the Americas, wrote that Apple was "surprised" by the missive from Klobuchar and Lee, saying it had antecedently expressed a willingness to enactment but "simply sought alternate dates successful airy of upcoming matters that person been scheduled for immoderate clip and that interaction connected akin issues."

Klobuchar and Lee wrote connected Friday that Apple had antecedently cited ongoing litigation arsenic a crushed for refusing to supply a witnesser successful April. Apple presently faces a lawsuit from Fortnite-maker Epic Games, which has accused the institution of violating antitrust laws done its stewardship of its App Store. Epic and different developers person agelong complained of Apple's 15% to 30% fees connected purchases customers marque done apps connected its iOS devices.

The senators said that plentifulness of different executives successful the tech assemblage and beyond person testified nether akin conditions, adding that Apple was alert of the litigation erstwhile primitively moving with the subcommittee to supply a witness. They besides noted Apple's prime to nonstop witnesses to attest earlier authorities legislatures voting connected bills that would modulate app stores successful the mode their sheet plans to explore.

"Apple's abrupt alteration successful people to garbage to supply a witnesser to attest earlier the Subcommittee connected app store contention issues successful April, erstwhile the institution is intelligibly consenting to sermon them successful different nationalist forums, is unacceptable," they wrote successful the Friday letter.

Powderly told the senators Apple understands their involvement successful holding the proceeding successful April and would marque Andeer available. Andeer has antecedently testified earlier House members and successful authorities legislatures implicit akin issues. Powderly emphasized the App Store's relation successful helping developers of each sizes to marque apps that service the lawsuit experience.

"Customers payment from our committedness to quality, security, and privacy, and we look guardant to the accidental to stock our story," helium wrote.

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