Apple CEO Tim Cook defended the company’s App Store policies during a historic antitrust hearing on Wednesday.
Lawmakers questioned whether Apple applies the same policies to all developers, and whether its position as the operator of the App Store gives it a competitive advantage.
Cook said Apple treats “every developer the same” and called the App Store “a vibrant, competitive environment.”
But some app makers who have spoken out against Apple’s rules in the past have pushed back on Cook’s testimony.
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Apple’s App Store policies and its treatment of app developers were at the center of lawmakers’ concerns about the iPhone maker during a historic antitrust hearing on Wednesday, which saw the CEOs of Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon testify before Congress.
Some app developers, however, are pushing back against Cook’s testimony that it treats all developers the same and creates a level playing field for app makers.
“To say that [the App Store] is a vibrant, competitive environment is just not true,” Justin Payeur, president and cofounder of National Education Technologies, which makes a parental control app called Boomerang, said to Business Insider.
Cook was grilled about the way Apple runs its App Store and whether the same set of rules apply to all developers when testifying before Congress on Wednesday. In one of the more pointed exchanges at Cook, Rep. Hank Johnson said Apple’s position as the operator of the App Store gives the company “immense power over small businesses.” Johnson also said that during the course of the House Antitrust Subcommittee’s investigation, it heard concerns that Apple’s App Store rules are “arbitrarily interpreted and enforced.”
“We treat every developer the same,” Cook said in response. “We have open and transparent rules, it’s a rigorous process,” Cook said in response. “Because we care so deeply about privacy and security and quality we do look at every app before it goes on. But those rules apply evenly to everyone.”
Cooks words reiterate Apple’s stance on its App Store policies, which have come to light in recent years as developers have publicly taken issue with how the tech giant manages its App Store.
Apple said it was “committed to providing a competitive, innovative app ecosystem” back in April 2019, for example. That was in response to a New York Times report saying that Apple had removed or limited parental control apps in the App Store after launching its own screen time management feature.
Some app makers who have felt wronged by Apple in the past said they were happy to see the issue raised before Congress. But they don’t necessarily agree with Cook’s responses.
Dustin Dailey, director of product management for Eturi, the company behind parental control app OurPact, called Apple’s rules “a moving target that is not evenly applied to everyone.”
“We are hopeful that Apple will recognize they are not the only developers capable of creating products with the user’s best interest in mind as it related to data privacy and security,” Dailey said to Business Insider via email. “And we …read more
Source:: Business Insider – Tech