From “The Antitrust Hearing, The Role of Congress, CEO Questions” ($) posted Tuesday on Stratechery:
- Do you believe that Apple has been adequately compensated for its role in making smartphones the most indispensable devices in people’s lives? Does Apple deserve more revenue from App developers, including those offering free apps?
- Why doesn’t Apple simply charge developers directly for the cost of running the App Store? Has Apple ever considered offering its payment services on other platforms? If not, why not?
- Last week Apple released a study defending the App Store’s 30% commission, comparing it to both other App Stores and also bricks-and-mortar retail. Do you believe that direct-to-consumer sales over the Internet are a viable channel as well, and if so, why were they largely ignored in your study?
- Why should the App Store be the only possible way to install apps on an iPhone? Why should apps installed via the App Store not be allowed to link to a web page if that web page allows users to sign up for a paid service?
- Does Apple Music or Apple Books pay a 30% charge on every purchase? If so, how is that charge accounted for? If not, why would Spotify and Kindle have to pay Apple 30% if they offered in-app purchase? And why can’t Spotify and Kindle link to their web pages for purchases?
- iOS 14 will allow users to change the default web browser (but not rendering engine) and default email client. Why can’t users change the default SMS client?
- Why does Apple allow WeChat to have a store-like interface for mini-apps, but does not allow the same for Facebook, Microsoft, Steam, and other U.S. companies?
My take: I’ll be surprised if more than one or two of these issues come up at Wednesday’s hearings.