Apple Inc said in a letter to Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee that it will make a top executive available at an upcoming hearing regarding the App Store after lawmakers publicly criticised the company for not doing so.
The technology giant said in a letter Sunday, which was obtained by Bloomberg News, that it will make Chief Compliance Officer Kyle Andeer available to speak to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights on April 21.
In a letter to Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook on Friday, the senators said that Apple had declined to participate. In its response Sunday, the Cupertino, California-based firm said that it was “surprised” to received the letter to Cook and that it was simply seeking alternative dates.
Kyle Andeer, vice president of corporate law at Apple Inc., speaks during a House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust hearing in Washington, DC, US, on Tuesday, July 16, 2019. US technology giants are headed for their biggest antitrust showdown with Congress in 20 years as lawmakers and regulators demand to know whether companies like Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc use their dominance to squelch innovation.
“We have deep respect for your role and process on these matters and, as we told your staff, we are willing to participate in a hearing in the subcommittee,” Apple said. “We simply sought alternative dates in light of upcoming matters that have been scheduled for some time and that touch on similar issues.”
Andeer previously testified on several matters for Apple before the House of Representatives and other U.S. lawmakers. The Senate Subcommittee is investigating both Apple and Google over competition issues and concerns from app developers.
“Apple’s power over the cost, distribution, and availability of mobile applications on the Apple devices used by millions of consumers raises serious competition issues that are of interest to the subcommittee, consumers, and app developers,” according to the letter to Cook on Friday. “A full and fair examination of these issues before the subcommittee requires Apple’s participation.”
The Justice Department’s antitrust division has been investigating Apple’s App Store practices to determine whether the company is harming competition, Bloomberg has reported. Apple is embroiled in an antitrust lawsuit with Epic Games Inc., which goes to trial in early May.