Apple CEO Tim Cook is scheduled for July 27 before the US House Judiciary Committee, where he will testify as part of an investigation into big tech business transactions.
Cook will appear as a witness alongside fellow tech industry executives Jeff Bezos, Sundar Pichai and Mark Zuckerberg, according to press release issued on Monday.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Antitrust Subcommittee Chair David Cicilline (D-RI) made a statement at the upcoming hearing examining antitrust issues related to Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google .
“Since last June, the subcommittee is investigating the dominance of a small number of digital platforms and the adequacy of existing antitrust and enforcement laws,” they said. “Given the central role these companies play in the lives of the American people, it is critical that their CEOs are forthcoming. As we have said from the beginning, their testimony is essential for us to complete this investigation. ‘
The subcommittee last year announced a two-pronged investigation of “platform gatekeepers” and “dominant” technology companies. Apple is being scrutinized for its App Store business, the so-called “Sherlocking” of third-party apps and the systematic removal of parental control apps.
Cook is likely to come under pressure from recent controversies in the App Store, including brushing over Apple’s usual 30% off in-app purchases and subscriptions.
In June, Basecamp executives fought back against Apple’s policies and declined to include in-app purchase options for its new email client Hey. Apple, therefore, denied the necessary updates to the app and threatened to pull the title for ignoring the App Store guidelines. After a very public back and forth, Apple approved a version of Hey that integrated free trial options because Basecamp was working on a more permanent solution to align the app with the App Store rules.
While Apple executives had no intention of changing the rules, the company’s stance on potential offenders at WWDC was softened. At the conference, Apple quietly announced the new App Store review policy that allows developers to challenge not only individual rejections, but also the guidelines on which those decisions are based.
In addition to the antitrust probe, Apple’s App Store policy is also being scrutinized by the Department of Justice.