Apple CEO Tim Cook is currently testifying in an antitrust hearing with U.S. House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee. He was questioned about App Store practices and policies. The company has faced severe criticism over opaque App Store practices and commissions that range up to 30%.
The committee took up complaints raised by developers with Tim Cook. Developers questioned Cook as to why App Store rules were unavailable and why the company keeps changing them at will. Furthermore, Apple was accused of introducing rules that benefitted them and discriminated between smaller and larger app developers.
Cook assured that Apple treats all developers equally and has transparent rules. He also highlighted how deeply Apple cares about the privacy of users. As far as rules are concerned, Cook said it applies to all, including smaller and larger app developers.
Congressman asked Tim Cook whether user data collected from the App Store was used to decide whether developing a competing app is profitable for Apple. The Apple CEO evaded the question and moved on to address other concerns. Cook was questioned about reduced commission rates for certain apps like Amazon Prime. He responded and said the reduced rate is available for any app that meets the criteria.
Cook was asked what stops Apple from increasing App Store commissions, something it has never done before. To this, Cook responded and said there is a competition to attract developers, just like competition for customers. He explains how developers could write their apps for other platforms like Android, Windows, and other platforms. The reason why Apple doesn’t increase commissions is to remain competitive on both the developer and customer side.