Tim Cook called Pelosi to say tech antitrust bills were rushed
Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other lawmakers to raise concerns about the antitrust bills a House panel introduced earlier this month.
Cook, during phone conversations with lawmakers, reportedly claimed that the bills were rushed, would crimp innovation and would negatively affect consumers by interfering with the services that are behind Apple’s iPhone, according to The New York Times, which cited five people with knowledge of the conversations.
He also reportedly asked Pelosi if the the Judiciary Committee could delay the process of considering the bills.
Pelosi reportedly objected to the concerns raised by Cook, the Times reported, citing two people with knowledge of the conversations.
Additionally, when asked by Cook to delay the bill consideration process, one person with knowledge of the conversation told the Times that the speaker responded by asking Cook to identify specific policy objections he had to the measures.
The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee unveiled five bills on June 11, all with bipartisan sponsorship, that would give regulators increased authority to rein in the power of tech giants.
One of the bills would bar tech giants from self-preferencing their products on their own platforms, which is a behavior commonly seen from Apple in its App Store.
The legislation comes after the Judiciary panel released a blockbuster report last year alleging ways that Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook abuse their market power.
The calls placed by Cook, according to the Times, follow a trend of executives, lobbyists, think tanks and advocacy groups pushing back against the antitrust legislation.
Timothy Powderly, Apple’s senior director of government affairs in America, penned a letter to the top lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee and antitrust subcommittee on Tuesday to raise concerns that the package of antitrust reform legislation would undermine innovation and competition.
“We are concerned that many provisions of the recent package of antitrust reform legislation would create a race to the bottom for security and privacy, while also undermining innovation and competition,” Powderly wrote in the letter, obtained by The Hill.
Specifically, the official argued that the bills would restrain innovation, fail to promote competition and “undermine consumers’ ability to choose products that offer state-of-the-art privacy and security.”
Additionally, Powderly said the company is “concerned that current proposals would harm consumer privacy, device security and innovation.”
“We urge the Committee not to approve the proposed legislation in its current form, and we look forward to engaging with the Committee going forward,” Powderly added.
The Hill reached out to Apple and Pelosi’s office for confirmation on the phone call.