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Apple is unable to participate in an upcoming Senate hearing on anti-competitive app store activities. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee, the chair and leading Republican on the Senate Judiciary’s antitrust subcommittee, note in a letter sent to Apple CEO Tim Cook that the firm unexpectedly refused to send a witness 16 days before the planned launch of such hearings.
According to the letter, Apple’s decision was motivated by “ongoing litigation.” The firm is reportedly embroiled in a high-profile court dispute with Epic Games over App Store rules. Klobuchar and Lee go on to say that Apple has previously discovered ways to make witnesses available in related cases. They also cite testimonies given by the organisation in the North Dakota Senate and Arizona House of Representatives when those states called recent app store reform laws, as well as an interview Tim Cook gave to The New York Times in which he discussed Epic and the App Store. If Apple does not participate in the hearing, it would be particularly noteworthy provided that Google has decided to comply with the commision.
“Apple’s sudden change in course to refuse to provide a witness to testify before the Subcommittee on app store competition issues in April, when the company is clearly willing to discuss them in other public forums, is unacceptable,” the letter concludes. We’ve reached out to Apple for comment, and we’ll update this article when we hear back from the company.