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Apple’s preferential treatment in App Store, coercive practices: 8 key takeaways from Cook’s deposition before the antitrust subcommittee

Tim Cook

Apple's App Store policies are such that at one point even Facebook's CFO Sheryl Sandberg thought that Apple could lock out Facebook's apps, the Big Tech CEOs’ hearing before the House subcommittee on antitrust on July 29 (available to watch here) revealed. Questions to Apple CEO Tim Cook largely focussed on the company's App Store policies. “I am concerned that Apple’s policies are also picking winners and losers in the app economy, and that Apple rules mean Apple apps always win.” — Representative Val Demings (D-FL) 1. Apple gives preferential treatment to certain app developers: Referring to an email from Cook, dated August 6, 2014, Representative Henry C. Johnson (D-GA) said that Apple had assigned two key contacts for Baidu that would help Baidu “manage through Apple” — one person in Apple Beijing office and other at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino. Cook claimed ignorance about it. Johnson also pointed out that Apple offered a a reduced rate of commission to Amazon Prime, citing a Verge article. Apple commission policy: Amidst numerous questions about the App Store’s commission policy, Cook said that for 84% of the apps, there is no commission. For the remaining 16%, developers are charged 30% of their collections in the first year and 15% second year onwards. 2. Apple permits itself to copy third party apps and has access to confidential information about the apps: Representative Joe Neguse (D-CO), who is also the vice-chair of the subcommittee on antritrust, pointed out that the guidelines for developers forbid…

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