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US Senators strongly urge Apple to testify in App Store hearing

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San Francisco, April 10 (IANS) A group of US Senators has strongly urged Apple to testify during an upcoming hearing on digital markets focused on Apples App Store and the Google Play Store, after the Cupertino-based iPhone maker refused to attend the hearing this month.

In a letter addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the Senate Judiciary Committee leaders demanded that Apple provide a witness for an upcoming hearing on app stores and digital competition.

“We write regarding Apple Inc.’s refusal to provide a witness to testify in a timely manner before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights at a hearing to examine the competition issues raised by app stores,” wrote Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Mike Lee (R-UT).

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“We strongly urge Apple to reconsider its position and to provide a witness to testify before the Subcommittee in a timely manner,” they said in the letter sent to Cook on Friday.

Apple’s App Store practices have been under scrutiny by lawmakers over the last year.

According to The Verge, in 2019, the House Judiciary Committee launched an investigation into Apple’s App Store, over the 30 per cent fee the company charges app developers.

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“Apple has been aware for weeks that the Subcommittee was planning a hearing on this topic and was engaged in discussions with our staff regarding who would testify on Apple’s behalf,” the senators wrote.

“Yet a little more than two weeks [16 days] before the planned hearing, Apple abruptly declared that it would not provide any witness to testify at a hearing in April,” they added.

Apple was yet to comment on the letter.

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Apple has announced that the developers in its new small business programme can now sign up to receive 15 per cent more from sales of their apps on App Store.

Apple in November last year unveiled a new developer programme to reduce the charge by half for small businesses that earn up to $1 million in revenue from January 1, 2021, after facing flak for the App Store’s 30 per cent standard commission for paid app revenue and in-app purchases.

–IANS

na/

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